Parenting Attitudes of Drug-Involved Women Inmates

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14 Scopus citations


Of the 93,000 women incarcerated in 2001, nearly 80% were mothers of approximately 130,000 minor children. Many correctional institutions have implemented programs to teach the growing number of incarcerated women effective parenting skills. However, there are few evaluations of such programs. This study examined changes in parenting attitudes as a function of program participation for drug-involved women at a correctional institution in Delaware. The attitudes of 59 women were assessed along five dimensions predictive of abusive parenting practices. Mean scores revealed no statistically significant differences between those who had completed the program, those enrolled, and those not participating. Significantly, however, standardized scores were well within average range of normed scores developed on nonabusive adult parents. Findings indicate these women did not express overly controlling or punitive attitudes with regard to children. The study lends support to other investigations documenting similarly positive parenting attitudes among substance-abusing women. Thus, the intense focus of programs on disciplinary alternatives to spanking might be misplaced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-220
Number of pages15
JournalThe Prison Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • drug use
  • inmates
  • parenting
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law


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