Côté-Dion C-M, Garneau M, Gougeon M, Letarte M-J, Laventure M. (2021). Associations between self-efficacy, psychological distress and parenting in adults with problematic substance use. Drogues, santé et société, 19(1-2). 283-307.
Parental self-efficacy (PSE) and the presence of psychological distress in parents with problematic substance use may help explain the relationship between substance abuse and parenting. This study, using a sample of 81 parents in treatment for substance abuse, investigates whether (1) the level of PSE correlates with the severity of substance use, the severity of psychological distress, the quality of child-rearing practices, and the parent-child relationship, and whether (2) the severity of psychological distress helps explain the relationship between PSE and child-rearing practices, as well as the relationship between PSE and the parent-child relationship. While the results did not yield any significant correlations between PSE and severity of use, results did demonstrate that PSE was significantly and positively correlated with positive parenting behaviors and warm/affectionate attitudes, but significantly and negatively correlated with feelings of depression, inconsistent discipline, and hostile/aggressive and neglectful/indifferent parenting attitudes. Psychological distress (anxiety and depression) was significantly and positively correlated with the severity of substance use (alcohol and drugs) and the presence of inconsistent discipline, but significantly and negatively correlated with insufficient supervision. Anxiety symptoms were also significantly and positively correlated with hostile/aggressive parental attitudes and neglectful/indifferent attitudes and negatively correlated with warm/affectionate attitudes. PSE alone explains positive parenting behaviors, as well as hostile/aggressive parenting attitudes of the parent toward the child. By adding anxious feelings, the variables jointly explain the lack of supervision and the three parental attitudes variables (warm/affectionate, neglectful/indifferent, and hostile/aggressive). Finally, parent gender combined with PSE explained some of the variance in inconsistent discipline. Results suggest that other factors may explain the quality of parenting among parents with problematic alcohol and drug use. Further research in this area is needed to explore these factors.