Parental substance abuse and child maltreatment : a study of child protective services

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gwendolyn Prince (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kia Asberg

Abstract: Child maltreatment continues to be a serious and prevalent issue that affects a significant portionof the population each year, and has been shown to predict negative short and long term effectson victims, and the family as a unit. Much of the literature concerning child maltreatmentfocuses on Child Protective Services (CPS), a department charged with the responsibility ofintervening in cases of child abuse and neglect. One of the responsibilities of CPS is to preventrecidivism (i.e., the reoccurrence of child maltreatment after an initial finding of neglect orabuse), which transpires in an alarming number of cases. Previous literature has focused on riskfactors of recidivism, including child and parent variables. Substance use has been identified as afactor that often, but not always, has been found to predict both maltreatment severity andrecidivism. The current study aimed to investigate the presence of both alcohol and illicitsubstance abuse in a CPS sample, and understand its relationship to abuse severity, removal fromthe home, and recidivism. Findings of this study showed that neither substance nor alcohol abusewas predictive of severity as measured by CPS. However, families where parents abused alcoholand other drugs (AOD) or just substances were more likely to be removed from the home.Additionally, this research identified substance abuse as a significant predictor in both removalfrom the home and recidivism. The results of this research may provide information into furtherinvestigation of links between substance use, child maltreatment, and other parental variables.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Child Abuse, Child Maltreatment, Child Protective Services, Substance Abuse, Substance Use, SUD
Abusive parents -- Substance use -- Case studies
Child welfare -- Evaluation -- Case studies

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