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Keywords:

  • attachment;
  • drug abuse;
  • parent-child relationships;
  • parent education;
  • parenting interventions

Abstract: Maternal substance abuse is the most common factor involved when children come to the attention of the child welfare system. Although there is a clear need for clinical trials to evaluate parenting interventions for drug-dependent women, few studies to date have systematically examined the efficacy of interventions for this population. We first review six published reports of outpatient interventions that aimed to enhance the caregiving skills of substance-abusing mothers caring for children between birth and 5 years of age. After discussing implications of these preliminary studies, we then describe an attachment-based intervention that addresses these implications and has demonstrated preliminary feasibility in a pilot trial.