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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017 Jun 1;175:151-156. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

The role of distress intolerance in the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and problematic alcohol use among Latin American MSM.

Author information

1
Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT, 06510, USA. Electronic address: katie.wang@yale.edu.
2
Yale School of Public Health, 60 College Street, New Haven, CT, 06510, USA; The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
3
The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, USA; Departments of Behavioral and Social Health Sciences and Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, 121 South Main Street, Providence, RI, 02912, USA.
4
The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, USA; Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital, 1 Bowdoin Square, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.
5
The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, USA; Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 110 Francis Street, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
6
Department of Biobehavioral Health, Penn State University, 114 Biobehavioral Health Building University Park, PA, 16802, USA.
7
OLB Research Institute, Online Buddies, Inc., 215 First Street, Cambridge, MA, 02142, USA.
8
The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, 1340 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215, USA; Departments of Behavioral and Social Health Sciences and Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, 121 South Main Street, Providence, RI, 02912, USA; Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School, Brown University, 121 South Main Street, Providence, RI, 02912, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the high prevalence of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) among men who have sex with men (MSM) and its well-documented association with substance use in adulthood, little research has examined the psychological mechanisms underlying this association. The current study utilized a large, multinational sample of MSM in Latin America to examine the role of distress intolerance (i.e., decreased capacity to withstand negative psychological states) in the relationship between childhood sexual abuse history and problematic alcohol use.

METHODS:

As part of an online survey conducted among members of the largest social/sexual networking website for MSM in Latin America, participants (n=19,451) completed measures of childhood sexual abuse history, distress intolerance, and problematic alcohol use (CAGE score>=2).

RESULTS:

Participants who reported a history of childhood sexual abuse indicated higher levels of distress intolerance, which was in turn associated with greater odds of engaging in problematic alcohol use. A mediation analysis further showed that distress intolerance partially accounted for the significant association between childhood sexual abuse history and problematic alcohol use.

CONCLUSION:

These findings provide initial evidence for the role of distress intolerance as a process through which early trauma shapes MSM health later in life. These findings also underscore the potential utility of addressing distress intolerance in alcohol use prevention and intervention efforts that target MSM with a history of childhood sexual abuse.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol use; Childhood sexual abuse; Distress intolerance; MSM

PMID:
28432938
PMCID:
PMC5487024
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.02.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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