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Drinking, Conduct Disorder, and Social ChangeNavajo Experiences$
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Stephen J. Kunitz and Jerrold E. Levy

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195136159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136159.001.0001

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Risk and Protective Factors Affecting Navajo Women's Drinking Patterns

Risk and Protective Factors Affecting Navajo Women's Drinking Patterns

Drinking, Conduct Disorder, and Social Change

Joanne McCloskey

Oxford University Press

Case studies of two alcohol dependent Navajo women and two non-alcohol dependent Navajo women illustrate the risk and protective factors that affect their patterns of alcohol use throughout the life course. During childhood, a mother's drinking, experiencing physical and sexual abuse, and living in a smaller, nuclear family residence may contribute to later problem drinking. In late adolescence and adulthood, a partner who drinks, the experience of domestic violence, and a woman's polysubstance use predict drinking. Personal factors, such as having at least a high school education and steady wage work, promote resiliency. For Navajo women with an alcohol abusing partner, domestic violence becomes a major threat that becomes even greater when she also drinks. Whereas during childhood a mother's drinking increases the likelihood of adult drinking, during adulthood Navajo women's husbands or partners play an influential role.

Keywords:   Navajo women, alcohol abuse, risk factors, protective factors, resiliency, physical abuse, sexual abuse

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