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Title: Substance Abuse and Child Maltreatment: The Effect of Maternal Substance Dependence on Harmful Parenting Behaviors in the United States
Authors: Young, Neenah
Advisors: Reichman, Nancy
Department: Economics
Certificate Program: Global Health and Health Policy Program
Class Year: 2022
Abstract: The economics literature of adverse parenting outcomes has yet to fully explore maternal substance dependence associated with multiple child maltreatment behaviors. This paper investigates the effect of increased maternal alcohol and drug dependence at the time of the child’s third birthday on a variety of adverse parenting outcomes measured when the child is three and five. The adverse parenting outcomes are organized into four categories: nonviolent discipline, physical assault, psychological aggression, and negligent parenting. Additionally, this paper investigates the extent to which other potential causes of adverse experiences capture the effects of maternal alcohol and drug dependence on adverse parenting outcomes. Using child maltreatment scales from the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scale (CTSPC) and data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), I use ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models. I find that increased maternal alcohol and drug dependence are positively and significantly associated with multiple parenting outcomes across the four categories. I also find that increases in supplementary covariates capture are significantly associated with multiple parenting outcomes. Overall, the findings of this paper suggest that maternal substance dependence plays an important role in adverse parenting outcomes, having significant associations with a variety of adverse parenting behaviors. Future research should look to investigate the effects of maternal substance abuse on the same outcomes, however, using models that account for different instrumental variables to establish a more consistent causal relationship.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Economics, 1927-2022
Global Health and Health Policy Program, 2017-2022

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