African American women are at increased risk for severe forms of partner abuse. Moreover, women abused while pregnant have reported higher frequencies of severe intimate partner abuse compared with women who have been abused only before and/or after pregnancy. Literature suggests that social support is a critical resource for abused women who are seeking safety. Specifically, African American women, both those who report experiences of abuse and those who do not, endorse social support as a healthy coping strategy. The current study is a secondary analysis of the multisite Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study dataset looking at the relationship between intimate partner abuse and prenatal substance use as well as the potential of instrumental social support to serve as a protective factor for substance use by African American mothers who have experienced partner abuse. Regression analyses were conducted to examine this relationship. Counseling, research, and policy implications are provided.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; African American women; Intimate partner violence; Substance abuse

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Bryant-Davis, Thema