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Using a Developmental-Relational Approach to Understand the Impact of Interpersonal Violence in Women Who Struggle with Substance Use

1
Department of Child and Youth Studies, Brock University,1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
2
Mothercraft, Early Intervention Department, 860 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON M6J 1C9, Canada
3
Department of Psychology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4861; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234861
Received: 27 September 2019 / Revised: 16 November 2019 / Accepted: 28 November 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex, Gender and Substance Use)
Substance use among women is a major public health concern. This review article takes a developmental-relational approach to examine processes through which early relational trauma and violence in relationships may lead to substance use. We examine how early exposure to violence in relationships can impact neurological development, specifically through interference with physiological mechanisms (e.g., the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), brain structure and functioning (e.g., the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex), and neuropsychological development (e.g., executive functioning and emotion regulation) across the lifespan. Further, we discuss the impact of exposure to violence on the development of relational capacity, including attachment, internal working models, and subsequent interpersonal relationships across the lifespan, and how these developmental pathways can lead to continued problematic substance use in women. View Full-Text
Keywords: interpersonal violence; domestic violence; substance use; intervention; women; developmental-relational; gender-specific approach interpersonal violence; domestic violence; substance use; intervention; women; developmental-relational; gender-specific approach
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Andrews, N.C.Z.; Motz, M.; Bondi, B.C.; Leslie, M.; Pepler, D.J. Using a Developmental-Relational Approach to Understand the Impact of Interpersonal Violence in Women Who Struggle with Substance Use. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4861.

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