Parenting under the influence: The effects of opioids, alcohol and cocaine on mother–child interaction

Addictive behaviors (Impact Factor: 2.76). 05/2014; 39(5):897–900. DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.02.003


Nearly 20% of adults receiving treatment for a substance use disorder live with their minor children (Stanger et al., 1999) and women in drug use treatment are twice as likely as men to have children in their household (Wechsberg et al., 1998). Parental drug use impacts the family through reduced family resources such as money and food, and researchers consistently note parenting deficits among substance users (Solis, Shadur, Burns, & Hussong, 2012). Little is known about differences in parenting and mother–child interaction among mothers with different drugs of choice or among mothers of older children, between 8 and 16 years. This study reports the findings from a sample of treatment seeking opioid, alcohol and cocaine using mothers and their 8–16-year-old child. Findings from a mother–child observational task and self-reported parenting measure indicated less undermining autonomy and higher mother maternal acceptance among opioid compared to alcohol addicted mothers. African American mothers were observed to have fewer negative interactional behaviors than Whites and both African American mothers and children self-reported higher firm control and maternal acceptance. Overall, mothers appeared to struggle with effective discipline with older versus younger children. Findings offer useful information to clinicians seeking to effectively tailor their interventions to women and children who present with different drugs of abuse, race/culture and developmental stage of child.

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Available from: Xin Feng, Jan 06, 2015
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    • "In addition, mothers in dual SUD couples reported significantly more depressive symptoms than mothers with SUD partners. This finding is not surprising given the well-evidenced association between SUD and mood disorders (Grant et al., 2004; Kessler et al., 2003; Luthar & Sexton, 2007) and previous research showing that relative to living with SUD partners, mothers' SUD is associated with higher negative affect (see Gruber & Taylor, 2006 for a review; Hien & Honeyman, 2000; Pears et al., 2007; Slesnick et al., 2014). Our findings are therefore consistent with literature suggesting that dual SUD may create greater risk for children in these homes (Dube et al., 2001; Osborne & Berger, 2009; Walsh et al., 2003). "
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