Drug-Abuse and Responsible Fathering: A Comparative Study

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Because very little is known about the parenting of drug-abusing men, this study was designed to document ways that drug abuse contributes to compromise of responsible fathering. When the opioid-dependent fathers were compared to the other fathers, there were significant differences in: (i) economic resources to support family formation; (ii) patterns of pair-bonding; (iii) patterns of procreation; and (iv) parenting behavior. When fathering of the youngest biological child was examined, the opioid-dependent fathers confirmed few differences in historical dimensions of fathering, but they reported significant differences in current dimensions reflecting: (i) constricted personal definitions of the fathering role; (ii) poorer relationships with biological mothers; (iii) less frequent residence with the child; (iv) less frequent provision of financial support; (v) less involvement in positive parenting; (vi) poorer appraisal of self as a father; and (vii) less satisfaction as a father. The findings highlight ways that drug abuse contributes to compromise of responsible fathering, and they raise questions about ways that the drug abuse treatment system might better address parenting as a treatment issue for men.


Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare
  • Fathers/Partners
  • Parenting