Racial/ethnic differences moderate associations of coping strategies and posttraumatic stress disorder symptom clusters among women experiencing partner violence: a multigroup path analysis
Past research underscores the key role of coping strategies in the development, maintenance, and exacerbation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The goal of the current study was to extend existing literature by examining whether race/ethnicity moderates the relations among coping strategies (social support, problem-solving, avoidance) and PTSD symptom clusters (intrusion, avoidance, numbing, arousal).
Participants were 369 community women (134 African Americans, 131 Latinas, 104 Whites) who reported bidirectional aggression with a current male partner. Multigroup path analysis was utilized to test the moderating role of race/ethnicity in a model linking coping strategies to PTSD symptom clusters.
The strength and direction of relations among coping strategies and PTSD symptom clusters varied as a function of race/ethnicity. Greater social support coping was related to more arousal symptoms for Latinas and Whites. Greater problem-solving coping was related to fewer arousal symptoms for Latinas. Greater avoidance coping was related to more symptoms across many of the PTSD clusters for African Americans, Latinas, and Whites, however, these relations were strongest for African Americans.
Results provide support for the moderating role of race/ethnicity in the relations among coping strategies and PTSD symptom clusters, and highlight potential targets for culturally informed PTSD treatments.