Prescription Drug Misuse and Child Maltreatment Among High-Risk Families
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Prescription drug misuse is increasingly common in the United States. To date, little is known about how prescription drug misuse relates to negative parenting behaviors like child maltreatment, even though use of illicit drugs increases rates of both child neglect and physical abuse. This study used secondary data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study (FFCWS), a clustered national sample of families at high risk for both prescription drug misuse and child maltreatment (n = 2,917). Data from mothers who participated in the 9-year follow-up of this study were used to create logistic regression models examining prescription drug misuse and physically aggressive and neglectful parenting, while controlling for demographic and psychosocial variables. Black, non-Hispanic mothers and mothers in worse health had higher odds of physically aggressive parenting. Mothers in worse health and those who used other illicit drugs had greater odds of neglectful parenting. There were no relationships between prescription drug misuse and either parenting outcome. The findings do not provide evidence that prescription drug misuse is a risk factor for child maltreatment. Further research examining this issue and potential progression from prescription drug misuse to other illicit drug use could help clarify whether this behavior is related to negative outcomes for children.
California State University
child maltreatment, illicit drug use, neglect, physical abuse, prescription drug misuse
Jennifer Price Wolf. "Prescription Drug Misuse and Child Maltreatment Among High-Risk Families" Journal of Interpersonal Violence (2021): 3006-3016. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518772109