"It was bad to see my [child] doing this": mothers' experiences of living with adolescents with substance abuse problems

SOURCE: International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): C.Groenewald, A.Bhana
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8897
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/1724
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11910/1724

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This paper explores mothers' experiences of living with an adolescent with substance use problems; an under researched topic of inquiry worldwide. Specifically, we were interested in the stressors that mothers face and how these stressors influenced their subjective wellbeing. A qualitative, phenomenological approach was adopted where five mother adolescent pairs were recruited from two adolescent substance abuse treatment centres to participate in 1:1 in-depth interviews using a life grid tool. Interpretative phenomenological analysis revealed that adolescent's substance abuse produced several stressful life events, such as adolescent misconduct, family conflict and financial burdens that provoked feelings of hopelessness, guilt, self-blame, worry, shame, anger, and signs of depression. Understanding mothers' experiences is essential to the development of informed support interventions for mothers of adolescents troubled by substance abuse. We conclude this paper by discussing the research and practice implications of our findings.