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Parenting stress: A novel mechanism of addiction vulnerability.

Authors
  • Rutherford, Helena Jv1
  • Mayes, Linda C1
  • 1 Yale Child Study Center, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neurobiology of stress
Publication Date
Nov 01, 2019
Volume
11
Pages
100172–100172
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2019.100172
PMID: 31193862
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Addiction remains a significant public health concern. Despite numerous public health initiatives, many parents continue to use substances during the prenatal and postpartum period. While stress has been implicated in the maintenance of substance use disorders more generally, we propose that parenting stress specifically increases vulnerability to substance use in adults caring for young children. To explore this notion, we first consider the neurobiology of the adult transition to parenthood and the value of adopting a parenting-specific approach to understanding addictive processes. Next, we consider the neurobiology of addiction and parenting before directly addressing parenting stress in the context of addiction. Finally, we describe current interventions with parents that incorporate the management of negative affect to enhance caregiving quality and decrease substance use. Taken together, this article proposes that the unique demands of caring for a developing child may be more stressful above and beyond other forms of stress. As a consequence, intervention approaches that target stress in the parenting role hold promise for decreasing parental substance abuse.

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