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Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2005 Jul;75(3):431-45.

How early bonding, depression, illicit drug use, and perceived support work together to influence drug-dependent mothers' caregiving.

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Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, CT, USA.


In this study, the authors used an attachment framework to examine how drug-dependent mothers' early bonding experience, depression, illicit drug use, and perceived support work together to influence the family environment. The authors hypothesized that (a) depression and drug use function as proxies for a stronger risk factor, the perceived absence of support available in everyday life, and (b) associations between mothers' early bonding experience and family environment are mediated by perceptions of support and nurture available in everyday life. The authors used a "building block" analytic approach and data collected from 125 mothers enrolled in methadone maintenance to test hypotheses. Both hypotheses were confirmed for 1 outcome, family adaptability. For the 2nd outcome, family cohesion, only perceived support was a significant predictor. Although preliminary, the findings suggest that perceptions of relationships in everyday life play a critical role in the etiology of drug-dependent mothers' parenting.

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