The Effects of Substance Abuse in a Parent on Environment of Child

Substance use and abuse is a major problem that affects the lives of both the user and those around them, including their children. In the present study, we considered aspects of the rearing environments provided by mothers with a substance use disorder to their children. . The sample included 106 mothers of 176 children (mean age 10.32 years, 50% female) who underwent comprehensive assessments. We examined whether maternal substance use disorder was associated with the family’s socioeconomic status, parental education and outcome, parental substance use, maternal depressive symptoms, and the quality of the family and parent-child relationships. In addition, a subset of the sample was mothers who are twins from twin pairs discordant for substance use disorders (i.e., one twin mother had a substance use disorder while her co-twin did not). Thus, we were further able to examine whether the rearing environments provided by mothers with a substance use disorder differed from those without, after accounting for genetic liability. Results have potential implications for our understanding of effects of maternal substance use disorders on the family rearing environment and their children.

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