Factors related to loss of child custody in HIV+ women in drug abuse recovery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Mothers who are dually-diagnosed with HIV/ AIDS and drug abuse are particularly burdened and vulnerable to loss of child custody. Objectives: This study explores factors associated with child custody loss among HIV+ women in drug abuse recovery, and compares mothers who have custody of their children to mothers who do not have custody of all of their children. Methods: Descriptive analyses were conducted on 68 HIV+ mothers in drug recovery, 46 who had custody of all of their children, and 54% who did not. Results: The lost-custody group was less likely to be employed and had more history of violent impulses and arrest, particularly on drug charges. The groups reported similar recent and lifetime drug use patterns, but the custody group had received more drug treatment. Post-hoc analyses found the lost-custody group had lower rates of participation in the interventions offered in the parent clinical trial and higher avoidant coping. Conclusions: The sample in the current study supports that HIV+ women in drug recovery are at high risk of loss of child custody. Non-adherence to available treatment seems to be associated with loss of child custody. Scientific significance: Results suggest the need for further research and active treatment outreach for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-324
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


  • Child custody
  • Substance abuse
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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