Predictors of parenting self-agency among mothers receiving substance abuse or mental health treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mothers' mental health or substance use disorders impact the behaviours of their children both short-term and long-term. There is increased concern for mothers with mental health or substance use disorders to effectively handle parenting challenges. Children of these mothers are at risk for emotional and behavioural adjustment problems as well as poor academic performances. Parenting self-agency refers to parents' perceptions of their confidence and ability to overcome barriers and manage issues in parenting. Examining the factors that predict parenting self-agency aids in understanding how nurses can assist mothers and families. The purpose of this study was to explore predictors of parenting self-agency among mothers who are impacted by mental health or substance use disorders. A secondary analysis was conducted using the baseline assessment data of a randomized trial that examined the efficacy of a nurse-led family-strengthening home-health intervention. The data were obtained from 172 mothers who were receiving outpatient treatment for substance use or other mental health disorders and had children under 18. A multivariate linear regression analysis was conducted to find predictors of parenting self-agency among participating mothers. The authors found that increased children's externalizing problems and intensity of hassle predicted lower parenting self-agency, and family cohesion predicted higher parenting self-agency. The authors conclude that treatments need to address family as a whole to increase mothers' parenting self-agency, thus assisting these mothers in raising their children in the best possible environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • children
  • mental health disorders
  • mothers
  • self-agency
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

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