Rethinking Parenting Interventions for Drug-Dependent Mothers

< Back to All Resources

Mothers who are physically and/or psychologically dependent upon alcohol and illicit drugs are at risk for a wide range of parenting deficits beginning when their children are infants and continuing as their children move through school-age and adolescent years. Behavioral parent training programs for drug-dependent mothers have had limited success in improving parent-child relationships or children's psychological adjustment. One reason behavioral parenting programs may have had limited success is the lack of attention to the emotional quality of the parent-child relationship. Research on attachment suggests that the emotional quality of mother-child relationships is an important predictor of children's psychological development through school-age and adolescent years. In this paper, we present a rationale and approach for developing attachment-based parenting interventions for drug-dependent mothers and report preliminary data on the feasibility of offering an attachment-based parenting intervention in an outpatient drug treatment program for women.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare
  • Parenting
  • Medical Care
  • Trauma