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18-11-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2018

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2018

Substance using Mothers Experiencing Suicidal Thoughts: Impact of Parenting Behaviors on Child Behavior Problems

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2018
Auteurs:
Brittany Brakenhoff, Qiong Wu, Natasha Slesnick

Abstract

Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are common among women with a substance use disorder (SUD). Additionally, a significant number of women substance users have children in their care. While the negative impact of maternal substance use on child outcomes has been documented, little is known about how the co-occurrence of suicidal ideation influences child outcomes. The current study examined the relationship between parenting behaviors and child outcomes in a sample of 183 treatment seeking women with a SUD who had a child in their care. Findings showed that maternal autonomy promotion, maternal acceptance and parental monitoring were associated with decreased child behavior problems. However, the presence of maternal suicidal ideation presented unique risk in which children generally did not benefit from positive parenting behaviors. The findings imply that children of suicidal mothers who also have a SUD could benefit from different parenting strategies than children of mothers who are not suicidal. This study suggests that suicidal ideation is a unique risk factor that should be addressed with both mothers and children when mothers seek substance use treatment.

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