Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Hogan, V. & Dempsey, M.
PSI, Annual Conference
A Family Problem? Exploring Experiences of Parenting Adolescents With Substance Abuse Problems
Kilkenny Ireland
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
The objective of this study was to explore first-hand accounts of parents of adolescents who have substance abuse problems and to consider the impact family therapy has on this experience. The study comprised 7 individual interviews: 6 participants were parenting adolescents who abuse substances; 1 participant was a family counsellor. Data was analysed using Grounded Theory Methodology. The study describes parenting an adolescent with substance abuse issues as being an all-consuming process. It involves transitioning through a sense of isolation, negotiating changes in the parental process and management of an emerging sense of family chaos. The experience highlighted the need for a multidimensional understanding of parenting. Adolescent substance abuse is a family problem with significant implications for parents and other family members. Effective treatment necessitates it being contextualised as a family problem with immediate family members being included in the treatment process. Family support services play a major role in supporting these families and teaching them the skills to alter the outcome of their situations.