Document Type



Objective Women with dual disorders report lower levels of social support than women with substance dependence alone, and lower levels of social support have been associated with lower quality of life among individuals with substance use disorders. However, little is known about the impact of trauma symptoms and violence exposure on quality of life for women with dual disorders. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of dual disorders, trauma, and social support related to recovery on various domains of quality of life among women in substance abuse treatment.

Methods This study utilized multiple standardized measures and hierarchical ordinary least squares regression to examine quality of life, trauma, and social support in women with dual disorders. Four domains of quality of life were measured (Physical, Psychological, Social, and Environmental Domains). Participants (N=369) were recruited from three inner city women only addiction treatment programs. IRB approval was obtained prior to sample recruitment.

Results Presence of a dual disorder was significantly associated with lower quality of life in the Physical and Psychological domains. However, this difference was no longer significant when trauma symptoms were added to the model. Trauma symptoms and Support for Recovery significantly predicted quality of life across all four domains and Friends Support for Abstinence across three domains.

Conclusions Findings suggest that the presence of a dual disorder in women may indicate a history of trauma. They also support the importance of both friend’s support for abstinence and recovery support as predictors of quality of life in women with dual disorders. Interventions that focus on social support and quality of life in treatment with women with substance use disorders may potentially enhance treatment outcomes.


Social Psychology and Interaction | Social Work


This is an Accepted Manuscript, after peer review, of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in the Journal of Dual Diagnosis on November 27, 2012, available online at: It has been formatted for archiving.