Coping with a loved one's addictive disorder: The role of intimate partner violence Presentation (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Petra, Megan M


  • Addictive disorders can have serious consequences for family members, including distress, physical and/or mental health problems, financial trouble, chaos, and risk for relationship dissolution. They are also at elevated risk for related problems such as family violence. The Stress-Strain-Coping-Support (SSCS) Model (Orford et al., 2005) describes the task of coping with a loved one’s addictive disorder: the addiction is a stressor on the family member, who consequently experiences strain. Through use of certain coping strategies and receipt of social support, however, family members may be able to lessen the strain. Yet the task of dealing with the addiction may be complicated by intimate partner violence (IPV). This presentation will describe a study of spouses/partners of people with alcohol, drug, or gambling problems. Use of coping strategies was common, though they did not lessen strain. Conversely, receipt of certain types of social support did appear to lessen strain. The function of social support was complicated by the presence of IPV: while physical violence added to the burden of addiction, it did not change the function of social support or coping strategies. On the other hand, participants who experienced high coercive control were unable to benefit from receipt of social support. The presentation will discuss implications of these results for social service professionals working with family members of people with addictive disorders.


publication date

  • 2017