Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Child Abuse Negl. 1999 Dec;23(12):1225-38.

Child abuse potential in parents with histories of substance use disorder.

Author information

Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, PA 15213, USA.



To examine the relationship between parental history of substances use disorders (SUDs) and abuse potential.


Milner's (1986) Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI) was administered to fathers and mothers (with and without histories of SUDs) of 10- to 12-year-old boys.


Fathers and mothers with lifetime histories of SUDs had higher Abuse Scale scores and were more likely to score in the Elevated range (as determined by clinically significant cutoff scores) than parents without such histories. No differences were found between parents with current diagnoses of SUD and those with past (but not current) histories of SUD. Fathers and mothers with a partner who had a history of SUD were more likely to score in the Elevated range, regardless of their own SUD histories. Separate regression models revealed that, for both fathers and mothers, emotional dysregulation (positive and negative affectivity) predicted Abuse Scale scores. Additional contributors to Abuse Scale scores were SUD status in fathers, and lack of involvement with the child in mothers.


History of SUDs in both fathers and mothers increases abuse potential. Contributors to abuse potential differed in fathers and mothers, underscoring the importance of examining parents separately in child maltreatment research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center