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Keywords:

  • Externalizing problems;
  • substance abuse;
  • teacher-reported behavior

Background

We examined child and family factors associated with teacher-reported behavior problems in 79 children of substance abusers (COSAs).

Method

Using regression models, we examined the impact of four family risk factors, cumulatively and individually, on children's behavior and explored children's engagement of adults as a protective factor.

Results

More than half (55%) of children had clinically elevated behavior problems. Cumulative family risks were associated with increased problems, whereas the presence of a father in the home and the child's ability to engage adults were protective.

Conclusions

These findings may help explain the variation in behavioral outcomes of COSAs.