Looking for poppa: Parenting status of men versus women seeking drug abuse treatment

Thomas J. McMahon, Justin D. Winkel, Suniya S. Luthar, Bruce J. Rounsaville

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This survey of individuals seeking methadone maintenance treatment was pursued to document the parenting status of drug-dependent men and clarify ways their status as parents differs from that of drug-dependent women. Data concerning demographic characteristics, drug abuse history, and parenting status were systematically coded from the medical records of 362 men and 162 women seeking methadone maintenance treatment during a 12-month period. Analysis of parenting status by gender indicated that, although a greater proportion of women were the parent of at least one biological child, there were actually more fathers than mothers within the cohort. Among the parents, fathers were more likely to have been abusing opioids when they first became a parent, and they were more likely to be living away from their children. There were no significant gender differences in the number of children or the average age of children. The results suggested that fathering may be an important, but largely neglected, treatment issue for drug-abusing men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-91
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005


  • Gender
  • Men
  • Methadone maintenance
  • Opioid dependence
  • Parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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