Racial/ethnic differences in social vulnerability among women with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders: Implications for treatment services



Little attention has been given to racial/ethnic differences in studies of co-occurring disorders among women. In this article, we present findings from analyses conducted on the influence of racial/ethnic differences on the demographic and clinical profiles of 2,534 women in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration-sponsored Women, Co-Occurring Disorders and Violence Study. Black and Hispanic women demonstrated more disadvantaged economic and social life conditions than White women. After controlling for socioeconomic differences, Hispanic women experienced more criminal justice involvement than others did, and both Black and Hispanic women were more likely to be exposed to community violence although they did not demonstrate more severe clinical symptoms than White women. In the design and delivery of services racial/ethnic differences should be considered, and research questions regarding underlying explanatory factors raised. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Comm Psychol 33: 495–511, 2005.