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Intimate partner violence, fatherhood, and co-parenting of men in residential substance misuse treatment

Batya Rubenstein (Department of Criminology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)
Carla Smith Stover (Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, USA)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 21 November 2016




The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of co-parenting, childhood experiences, and satisfaction with fathering in a sample of men in a long-term residential drug rehabilitation program.


A paper and pencil survey was completed by 128 men between the ages of 18 and 68 (M age=30.42 years) in a court ordered residential rehabilitation center for drug misuse. Of the 128 respondents, 40.625 percent (n=52) were fathers and completed a longer survey to assess their co-parenting relationships.


The percentage of men with positive role models did not differ between the fathers and non-fathers, with 40.4 percent of fathers having had a positive role model growing up, χ2(1, n=127)=0.54, p=0.816. Fathers were more likely to report witnessing IPV between their parents during childhood than non-fathers, χ2(1, n=125)=4.7888, p=0.029. Linear regression models examining factors associated with co-parenting agreement and exposure to conflict were significant, but witnessing IPV as a child was the only significant individual predictor.

Practical implications

Exposure to IPV in childhood was a common experience for fathers in residential treatment for substance misuse. Fathers reported significant problems in their co-parenting relationships indicating a need for fatherhood and co-parenting focused services available within residential treatment programs.


There is little research about fathers with co-occurring histories of substance misuse and IPV in residential treatment. This paper is the first to examine co-parenting in this specific population.



Rubenstein, B. and Stover, C.S. (2016), "Intimate partner violence, fatherhood, and co-parenting of men in residential substance misuse treatment", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 119-129.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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