Families of Women with Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Disorders: Involvement, Roles and Well-Being
Dual Disorders Research Program
David E. Biegel, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
July 2002 to June 2007
The objective of this pilot research study is to enhance understanding of the impact upon families of having a female family member with a co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorder. Families can be a major source of social support to their ill family members. Family support and involvement has been shown to be positively related to retention in treatment and to treatment outcomes for persons with substance abuse disorders. However, family caregivers who are stressed by the caregiving experience and who subsequently develop physical and/or mental health problems of their own may not be able to provide adequate support and assistance to their ill family member. Unmet family caregiver needs can therefore pose barriers to treatment and/or can negatively impact treatment outcomes of their ill family members and increase the risk of exacerbation of the substance abuse and/or psychiatric disorders. This study has three aims:
- To assess the feasibility of adapting instruments developed for family caregivers of persons with mental illness for use with family caregivers of women with a co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorder (e.g., cocaine and other drug abuse and anxiety, depressive mental disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder) and caregivers of women with drug abuse only
- To gather preliminary descriptive data from family caregivers of key components of the stress-coping process
- To assess a preliminary model of the correlates of caregiver well-being
The study utilizes an exploratory, non-experimental cross-sectional survey design. It makes use of a stress-coping theoretical framework, which explores the relationship between stressors and resources and their impact upon the physical and mental health outcomes of caregivers, as well as perceived levels of stress among caregivers.
Research Related Publications:
Predictors of Burden of Family Caregivers of Women with Substance Use Disorders or Co-Occurring Substance and Mental Disorders