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J Subst Abuse Treat. 1997 Sep-Oct;14(5):411-22.

Parenting training for women in residential substance abuse treatment. Results of a demonstration project.

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  • 1Health and Addictions Research, Inc., Boston, MA, USA.


This paper presents findings on the impact of implementing a parenting component in two urban residential treatment programs in Massachusetts for pregnant and parenting chemically-dependent women. The parenting component consisted of multiple services for both women and their infants while they were in residential treatment as well as aftercare services after discharge from treatment. Findings presented focus on: (a) the characteristics of the 170 pregnant and parenting women who participated in the parenting component during its 48 months of implementation; (b) changes in the parenting skills and self-esteem of women who completed parenting training; (c) the quality of mother-child interaction; and (d) the participants' perceptions about the impact of the parenting training. Women in both programs made dramatic improvements in self-esteem and experienced significant gains in parenting knowledge and attitudes. The participants were also overwhelmingly positive about the impact of the parenting training on their lives. Study findings underline the importance of parenting services for pregnant and parenting women in residential substance abuse treatment.

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