Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy

There is a virtual absence of previous research about the experiences of people affected by the presence of a substance misuser in the family in Brazil. A diverse sample of 3158 (80.6% female) affected family members (AFMs) was recruited in the largest cities in all five Brazilian regions. A Brazilian Portuguese translation of a set of standard measures for the assessment of AFM stress, strain, coping, hopefulness and total family burden, based on the stress-strain-coping-support (SSCS) model, was employed. Mothers and wives reported the greatest burden. Burden was also related to a number of other demographic and background variables, notably being higher for AFMs of lower socio-economic status and for those whose substance misusing relatives were currently receiving hospital treatment. A tentative hypothesis, based on suggested regional differences in beliefs about family structure and dynamics was mostly not confirmed. Examining the role of coping in the relationship between stress and strain, results offer some support for additive and moderation hypotheses, suggesting that greater engaged and tolerant-inactive coping add to stressful impact in the prediction of symptoms, and that lower engaged and tolerant-inactive coping in the face of relatively high stressful impact may be particularly useful in reducing symptom levels. This is the first national sample of AFMs to be studied in Brazil and the largest to have been reported from any country. The results should help build an emerging picture of how AFMs are affected and assist in planning services for AFMs.

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Resultados do II LENAD