Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Brown, Laurel,Dr.


The research focus of this study hoped to answer: “Do mothers have a more difficult time coping with their child’s challenging behaviors when they were using drugs, than they do when they are sober?” Mothers using street drugs may have challenges with their children after using drugs, whether illegal or legal (like alcohol or methadone). Mothers may have challenges during drug use with these children, but are the challenges the same once mothers are clean and sober? This research took on the positivist paradigm in hopes to answer this question. The researcher got an understanding of these challenges by asking questions about the drugs used during and after pregnancy, and the challenges they had with their child’s behavior while using drugs as opposed to the challenges they have with child’s behavior while sober. These questions were asked at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission where many women are referred and mandated by the courts, or Child Protective Services, behind past or current substance use. Results of these findings indicated that there was a reduction in problematic behaviors that seemed to be correlated with mother’s sobriety