A descriptive study of substance abuse by parents who abuse and neglect their children

Michelle Sylinda Thomas, Clark Atlanta University


The overall objective of this study was to present characteristics of parents with substance abuse problems and how these relate to child abuse and neglect. To attain this objective, the literature addressed the following areas: a) parent-child communication, b) family break up c) more coordination between professionals d) relapse, e) permanency planning and f) parental failure. The study's survey of parents focused upon:

a.) Demographics

b.) Use of substance and frequency of relapse

c.) Childrearing practices and

d.) parents beliefs about the understanding of their case welfare caseworkers and substance abuse counselors.

A survey was administered to parents who were clients of a child welfare agency in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

The study was an attempt to provide a clearer understanding of families who are confronted with the dual problems of substance abuse and child abuse and neglect.