“A window of opportunity”: Parenting and addiction in the context of pregnancy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review

Maternal prenatal substance use presents a multilevel risk to child development and parenting. Although parenting interventions are increasingly integrated into substance use treatment, prenatal parenting processes have not received equal attention within these interventions. This article aims to synthesize the evidence on the specific prenatal risk factors affecting the development of early parenting of substance-using mothers, as well as interventions focusing on those factors.
Recent Findings

Both neurobiological and psychosocial risk factors affect the prenatal development of parenting in the context of maternal substance use. Maternal–fetal attachment, mentalization, self-regulation, and psychosocial risks are important in treatment and highly intertwined with abstinence. Although parenting interventions seem to be highly beneficial, most studies have not differentiated between pre- and postnatal interventions or described pregnancy-specific intervention elements.

Due to the salience of pregnancy in treating substance-using parents, interventions should begin prenatally and include pregnancy-specific parenting focus. Further research on prenatal interventions is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)578–594
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Fields of Science

  • 3124 Neurology and psychiatry

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