Emotional Availability, Neuropsychological Functioning, and Psychopathology: The Context of Parental Substance Use Disorder

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Abstract

Parental Substance Use Disorder (SUD) constitutes a high-risk condition for parent-child interactions and child development. Empirical evidence indicates high rates of psychopathology and neuropsychological impairments in individuals with SUD. Despite research indicating that parenting skills are related to psychological well-being and cognitive/neuropsychological functioning, prior studies have not examined the associations between these areas of parental functioning and the quality of parent-child interactions in the context of SUD. Aim(s). The present study adopts an integrated perspective to investigate the way in which maternal neuropsychological functioning and psychopathology are associated with mother-child emotional availability (EA), in the context of parental Substance Use Disorder. Methods. Twenty-nine mothers with SUD were assessed in interaction with their children, as well as with respect to their neuropsychological functioning and psychopathology. Results. In this group, high rates of maternal neuropsychological impairments and psychopathology, as well as generally low levels of EA, were uncovered. Regression analyses showed that maternal neuropsychological functioning was significantly associated with mother-child EA, specifically sensitivity; the role of maternal psychopathology, however, was only marginally significant. Conclusion. In the context of SUD, maternal neuropsychological impairments are significantly associated with mother-child EA. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

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Porreca, A., Biringen, Z., Parolin, M., Saunders, H., Ballarotto, G., & Simonelli, A. (2018). Emotional Availability, Neuropsychological Functioning, and Psychopathology: The Context of Parental Substance Use Disorder. BioMed Research International, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5359037

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