Document Type




First Advisor's Name

Marilyn J. Montgomery

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Eric F. Wagner

Third Advisor's Name

James Jaccard

Fourth Advisor's Name

William Kurtines


Maltreatment, AOD Use, Adolescent Girls

Date of Defense



Maltreatment experienced in childhood or adolescence is a known risk factor for later problem alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) use (Bailey & McCloskey, 2005; Shin, Edwards, Heeren, 2009). A growing body of empirical work has found significant associations between adolescent girls’ AOD use and maltreatment experiences. However, questions remain as to how this relation unfolds with African-American and Hispanic adolescent girls. Guided by four relational models that have been proposed in the literature, this study examined the links between maltreatment, trauma symptoms, and alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) problems in a sample of 170 African-American and Hispanic adolescent girls who were participants in a school-based AOD use intervention. Results of this study revealed that maltreatment experiences (physical and emotional abuse) were positively related to trauma symptoms, which were positively related to AOD problem severity, alcohol abuse, alcohol dependency, drug abuse, and drug dependency. Perceived discrimination moderated this relation between sexual abuse and trauma symptoms, such that more perceived discrimination resulted in a stronger effect of sexual abuse on trauma symptoms. Ethnic identity moderated the relation between sexual abuse and AOD problem severity, such that ethnic identity demonstrated protective properties in the relation between sexual abuse and AOD problem severity. My research adds to extant knowledge on the relation between maltreatment and AOD use in adolescent girls and suggests the importance of developing interventions targeting maltreatment and AOD use concurrently.





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