Children of African-American mothers who use crack cocaine: Parenting influences on youth substance use

Wendy K.K. Lam, Jessica D. Cance, Agatha N. Eke, Diana H. Fishbein, Stephanie R. Hawkins, J. Cassie Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine relationships between parenting behaviors, parent-child relationship, and moderating effects of age on youth substance use among a community sample of African-American mothers who use crack cocaine and their children (12-17 years). Methods: Maternal-child dyads (n = 208) were recruited through street outreach and snowball sampling and completed interviews about substance use and parenting. Results: Regression analyses found significant main effects of youth age, family conflict, warmth, and disapproval of youth substance use on children's substance use. Age × Parenting interactions were significant for conflict and disapproval. Higher family conflict increased older youths' risk, while higher perceived maternal disapproval protected against substance use for older youth. Conclusions: Family influences may offer risk and protective effects for adolescent children of maternal drug users. Outreach and family-focused interventions that address family conflict and communication of disapproval of substance use may help reduce intergenerational risk transmission. However, longitudinal research with comprehensive parenting assessments is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-887
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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