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Drug using mothers: factors associated with retaining care of their children

Drug using mothers: factors associated with retaining care of their children

Gilchrist, Gail and Taylor, Avril (2009) Drug using mothers: factors associated with retaining care of their children. Drug and Alcohol Review, 28 (2). pp. 175-185. ISSN 1465-3362 (doi:

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Introduction and Aims: Research suggests that upwards of 50% of drug users do not live with their children, yet little is known about these children's living arrangements or the variables associated with mothers retaining care of their children.
Design and Methods: This cross-sectional study examined the number of pregnancies and children born to female drug users receiving and not receiving treatment, the living arrangements of their children and the variables associated with not living with their children.
Results: Data on 185 mothers from a study on psychiatric morbidity among drug users in Glasgow, Scotland were analysed. Participants had given birth to 327 children, 44% (132/297) of children were living with their mother; 26% (78/297) were being cared for by a family member and 20% (59/297) were in local authority care or had been adopted. 49% (87/179) of participants did not live with any of their children. Stepwise multiple forward logistic regression found that current depressive symptoms [odds ratios (OR) 3.90, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.78–8.55], lifetime involvement in prostitution (OR 3.12, 95% CI 1.41–6.93), lifetime history of homeless (OR 2.96, 95% CI 1.13–6.39), living with a drug user (OR 2.71, 95% CI 1.30–5.65) and ever being incarcerated (OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.17–5.21) were associated with participants not living with any of their children versus living with at least one of their children.
Discussion and Conclusions: Access to drug treatment, mental health treatment and parent craft education should be enhanced for female drug users to assist them retain care of their children where possible. [Gilchrist G,Taylor A. Drug-using mothers: Factors associated with retaining care of their children. Drug Alcohol Rev 2009;28:175–185]

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: female drug user, children, parenting, pregnancy, mental health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care > Department of Health Development
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Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 09:35

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