Affective awareness in parenting of fathers with co‐occurring substance abuse and intimate partner violence

Carla Smith Stover (Based at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA)
Andrea Spink (Based in the Department of Psychology, Southern Connecticut State University and Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Publication date: 18 May 2012

Abstract

Purpose

Few studies have examined the parenting of fathers with co‐occurring substance abuse (SA) and intimate partner violence (IPV) problems. None have specifically interviewed men with these co‐occurring issues using qualitative methods about their reflective functioning in relation to their children. This paper aims to provide evidence of the reflective capacity of fathers with co‐occurring SA and IPV.

Design/methodology/approach

To assess this, men were asked to describe examples of negative emotions they experienced as parents and how they perceived their children responded to those emotions. In total, 40 fathers with co‐occurring SA and IPV were interviewed using the Revised Parent Development Interview. Interviews were coded for reflective functioning and for themes that emerged related to angry and guilty feelings these fathers experienced as parents.

Findings

Overall, fathers in the sample had a very limited capacity to think about the thoughts and feelings of their children. The desire to spend more time with their child and an inability to provide financially were two common themes. Anger toward the child's mother for not providing adequate care and a focus on shielding the child from his anger were also reported frequently. Fathers did not report feelings of guilt related to their substance use or aggression in their relationships.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first to explore reflective functioning of fathers with co‐occurring IPV and SA. These findings are discussed in relation to their implications for intervention with fathers with co‐occurring SA and IPV issues.

Keywords

Citation

Smith Stover, C. and Spink, A. (2012), "Affective awareness in parenting of fathers with co‐occurring substance abuse and intimate partner violence", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 74-85. https://doi.org/10.1108/17570971211241903

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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