Exploring the parenting beliefs of substance abusing women

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Janzlean Laughinghouse (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Marion O'Brien

Abstract: This study explores the parenting beliefs of substance abusing women. Extant research on substance abusing women clearly demonstrates factors that interrupt the development of appropriate parent-child relationships including poor models of parenting, difficulty with childrearing (Luthar, Cushing, Merikangas, & Rounsaville, 1995), the guilt of past parenting failures (Lester, 2005), and lower feelings of parental efficacy (Carlson, Matto, Smith & Eversman, 2006). For the purposes of this research, mothers’ hostile attributions for challenging behavior, their expectations for their children’s behavior, and their perceived maternal efficacy were examined to determine if they varied by the mothers’ recovery status, child age, or child behavior problems. Secondly, maternal self-blame for child misbehavior and its relation to parenting attitudes was explored and whether the relation was moderated by the mothers’ recovery status was examined. Finally, the data were used to develop recommendations for improving intervention approaches for substance abusing mothers in recovery. The research questions were addressed by obtaining questionnaire data from 30 substance abusing women in recovery. Four measures were used: the structured Parent- Social Information Processing Interview (P-SIPI) (Snyder, 2007), a measure of developmental expectations (Azar, Robinson, Hekimian, & Twentyman, 1984), the efficacy subscale of the Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC): Satisfaction and Efficacy scale (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersman, 1978; Johnston & Marsh, 1989), and a parenting survey adapted for this study from Abidin’s (1995) Parenting Stress Index, 3rd Edition. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL 4/18) (Achenbach, 1991) was completed on all participants’ children to record behavior problems. Responses to the parenting vignettes of the P-SIPI revealed that the majority of the participants had hostile attributions for their children’s challenging behavior and these were not related to child age, level of behavior problems, or the length of time the mother had been in recovery. Findings on maternal blame indicate that mothers who blamed themselves for their children’s behavior also had higher levels of inappropriate expectations of support and nurturance from their children, endorsed more lax parenting responses as effective for their children and perceived themselves as more efficacious. Mothers with higher scores on the P-SIPI efficacy scale tended to blame their children less and endorsed more firm responses as effective for managing child behavior. These findings have several implications for improving parenting intervention approaches with substance abusing women. These include a component that employs the use of social cognitive interventions to increase program effectiveness with this population. Instruction in child development is likely to counteract inappropriate expectations for child behavior. Additionally, the teaching of specific parenting skills designed to manage challenging behavior will improve the likelihood of increased feelings of efficacy in daily parenting tasks. Finally, a therapeutic component to the parenting interventions based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) could increase the likelihood that the participants will become more cognizant of how their thoughts influence their behaviors and learn effective strategies to redirect irrational thoughts.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2009
Females, Substance abuse, Parenting beliefs, Parent-child relationships
Mothers $x Substance use $z United States.
Parenting $x Evaluation.
Mothers $x Attitudes.
Mothers $x Drug use $x Rehabilitation $z United States.
Mother and child.

Email this document to