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Clausen, J.M. Aguilar, R.M. Ludwig, M.E. (2012). Fostering Healthy Attachment Between Substance Dependent Parents and Their Infant Children. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 11(4):376-386.

(2012). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 11(4):376-386

Fostering Healthy Attachment Between Substance Dependent Parents and Their Infant Children

June Madsen Clausen, Rosana M. Aguilar and Mark E. Ludwig

Infants of parents with substance abuse problems enter foster care at a higher rate than infants of nonabusing parents and are at a higher risk for attachment problems and child maltreatment. The current study evaluates the impact of a 10-week infant massage intervention designed to increase attachment between parents in a drug rehabilitation facility and their infants. The program focuses on parental awareness of infant's internal states, the development of skills for self-regulation of affect, the calming of their child, and the development of a capacity for sustained positive parent-child interaction so that parents can become more available in the psychological space and time they spend with their infant children. Parent participants, interviewed before and after the intervention, completed a demographic and program evaluation survey, as well as standardized measures of parent knowledge of child development, parenting stress, and depression. Results indicate trends towards decreased parental stress, increased knowledge of good parenting practices, better relatedness between parent and infant, and improved parenting self-efficacy, suggesting that attachment interventions with substance dependent parents may have substantial benefits for the parent-child relationship as well as the mental health functioning of parent and child.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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