Parenting Among Women in Methadone Treatment: Contributions of Mental Health Problems and Violence Exposure

Sydney L. Hans*, Anna L. Herriott, Brent Finger, Renee C. Edwards, Catherine G. McNeilly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The aim of the current study is to explore factors associated with quality of parenting among women in treatment for opioid use disorders. 150 Black American women with 3–5 year old children were recruited through methadone treatment programs. Parenting representations were assessed through the Working Model of the Child Interview and parenting behavior through video recordings of mother–child interaction. Interviews were used to assess mothers’ history of violence exposure and to make DSM diagnoses. Mothers’ mood disorder was related to distorted representations and to expressions of concerned affect (anxiety, fear, guilt). Mothers’ personality disorder was related to expressions of negative affect (anger and frustration) and inversely related to sensitive parenting behavior. Mothers’ experience of family violence during childhood and partner violence during adulthood were related to concerned affect in their representations. Women in treatment for substance use disorder have complex and interconnected needs, including parenting supports and trauma-informed mental health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild psychiatry and human development
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Parental mental health
  • Parenting
  • Parenting representations
  • Substance use disorder
  • Violence exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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