Parents’ experiences of abuse by their adult children with drug problems

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Parents’ experiences of abuse by their adult children with drug problems

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Parents’ experiences of abuse by their adult children with drug problems
Author Svensson, Bengt ; Richert, Torkel ; Johnson, Björn
Research Centre People, Places and Prevention: Addressing Criminality from an Integrated Perspective
Date 2019
English abstract
Aims: To examine parents’ experiences of abuse directed at them by their adult children with drug problems. Material and Method: The material consists of 32 qualitative interviews on child-to-parent abuse with 24 mothers and eight fathers. The interviewees had experienced verbal abuse (insults), emotional abuse (threats), financial abuse (damage to property and possessions) and physical abuse (physical violence). Findings: In the parents’ narratives, the parent-child interaction is dominated by the child’s destructive drug use, which the parents are trying to stop. This gives rise to conflicts and ambivalence. The parents’ accounts seem to function as explaining and justifying their children’s disruptive behavior in view of the drug use. The fact that an external factor - drugs - is blamed seems to make it easier to repair the parent-child bonds. The parents differentiate between the child who is sober and the child who is under the influence of drugs, that is, between the genuine child and the fake, unreal child. The sober child is a person that the parent likes and makes an effort for. The child who is on drugs is erratic, at times aggressive and self-destructive. Conclusions: The interviewed parents’ well-being is perceived as directly related to how their children’s lives turn out. The single most important factor in improving the parents’ situation is to find a way for their adult child to live their lives without drug problems.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1455072519883464 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Link https://doi.org/10.1177/1455072519883464 .Icon
Publisher Sage
Host/Issue Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs;
ISSN 1455-0725
Language eng (iso)
Subject accounts
adult children
child-to-parent abuse
drug problems
family conflicts
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/30369 Permalink to this page
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