This study examines the relationship between drug abuse and maternal aggression (MA) among low-income women, controlling for a number of factors that often obscure the nature of the links between these two behaviors. Drug abusers (n = 87) and nonsubstance abusing normals (n = 75) were recruited from public hospital treatment programs and received extensive clinical evaluations for salient factors including psychiatric disorder, trauma history, domestic violence, coping, and MA. Findings indicated that drug abuse was consistently associated with more severe disciplinary practices and a higher potential for punitiveness than nonsubstance abuse. Further examination revealed the following two factors that predicted MA more powerfully than drug abuse: (a) being in a violent couple and (b) the use of avoidant coping strategies. Discussion includes recommendations for use of parenting interventions with drug-using women that address not only abstinence from drug abuse but also anger management and coping strategies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- Applied Psychology