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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2012 Sep;38(5):395-402. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2012.703735.

Fatherhood roles and drug use among young American Indian men.

Author information

  • 1Center for American Indian Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health , Albuquerque, NM 87109, USA. nneault@jhsph.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

High rates of substance abuse among young American Indian (AI) fathers pose multigenerational challenges for AI families and communities.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to describe substance use patterns among young AI fathers and examine the intersection of substance use with men's fatherhood roles and responsibilities.

METHODS:

As part of a home-visiting intervention trial for AI teen mothers and their children, in 2010 we conducted a descriptive study of fatherhood and substance use on three southwestern reservations. Substance use and parenting data were collected from n = 87 male partners of adolescent mothers using audio computer-assisted self-interviews.

RESULTS:

Male partners were on average 22.9 years old, primarily living with their children (93%), unmarried (87%), and unemployed (70%). Lifetime substance use was high: 80% reported alcohol; 78% marijuana; 34% methamphetamines; 31% crack/cocaine; and 16% reported drinking binge in the past 6 months. Substance use was associated with history of alcohol abuse among participants' fathers (but not mothers); participants' poor relationships with their own fathers; unemployment status; and low involvement in child care.

CONCLUSION:

Drug and alcohol abuse may be obstructing ideal fatherhood roles among multiple generations of AI males.

SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE:

Targeting drug prevention among young AI men during early fatherhood may provide special opportunity to reduce substance use and improve parenting. Intergenerational approaches may hold special promise.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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