$446,056 Gov't Study Explores Link Between Alcohol Abuse, Domestic Violence – Among Lesbians

By Melanie Arter | December 12, 2014 | 2:30pm EST

Woman Drinking (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The National Institutes of Health through its National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has funded a study to uncover the correlation between alcohol abuse and lesbian “intimate partner violence.”

The grant, titled, “Minority Stress, Alcohol Use, and Intimate Partner Violence Among Lesbians,’ was awarded to Old Dominion University.

“Alcohol abuse and dependence, and the constellation of problems associated with these disorders, including intimate partner violence (IPV) are a serious health concern for sexual minority women, their partners, their families, and society as a whole,” the grant abstract said.

“Despite documentation of important health disparities, a significant gap still exists regarding why sexual minority women are more likely to experience alcohol use disorders and IPV,” it added.

Researchers will recruit 400 lesbians, at least 18 years old, currently in a romantic relationship with a woman. Participants will take part in “3 waves of online surveys at baseline, 6- and 12-month follow-ups.”

The long-term goal of the project is to use the results “to develop culturally sensitive prevention and early intervention strategies that reduce lesbians’ alcohol misuse and IPV, thereby improving health and functioning in this underserved population.”

Researchers predict that “more sexual minority stress” will lead to “more alcohol use” and intimate partner violence over time.

The project will examine potential mediators of the relationship between sexual minority stressors and alcohol misuse and IPV.

“Four constructs will be tested as mediators: Coping/Emotional Regulation (i.e., social isolation, rumination, suppression), Stigma-Related Processes (i.e., internalized homophobia, stigma consciousness, concealment), Psychological and Relationship Distress (i.e., negative affect, relationship satisfaction, discrepant drinking, lesbian specific self-esteem) and Coping Drinking Motives.”

In determining the “longitudinal relationship between sexual minority stressors and subsequent alcohol use,” the project will examine the quantity and frequency of alcohol use.

The project and budget start date was May 15, 2012 with an end date of April 30, 2015.

CNSNews.com contacted Robin Lewis, project leader for the grant, by email to ask how the grant was an effective use of taxpayer funds, but no response was given by press time.

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