'It was riotous behaviour?': mothers' experiences of adolescents' conduct while abusing drugs

SOURCE: International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2018
TITLE AUTHOR(S): C.Groenewald
KEYWORDS: ADOLESCENTS, DRUG ABUSE, FAMILY INFLUENCE
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 10367

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Abstract

The impact of adolescent substance abuse is widespread and signicantly compromises the psychosocial well-being of those closest to the adolescent. This is evidentially so for parents who are required to cope with the adolescent's misconduct. Using an interpretative phenomenological methodology, this article describes mothers' experiences of living with an adolescent who is dependent on drugs. Specically, the article explores the mothers' accounts of the pernicious behaviours that the adolescents engage(d) in during their drug abuse period. Qualitative 1:1 interviews revealed two common forms of adolescent misconduct that the mothers had to contend with which were belligerent attitudes and conducts and pilfering behaviours. The mothers further reported that the adolescents' behaviours negatively impacted on the mother-adolescent relationship, producing feelings of mistrust and a lack of trust. The findings contribute to the sparse literature on parents' experiences and thus hold implications for research and practice. Understanding the challenges that mothers contend with when adolescents engage in problematic drug use is important for the development of support interventions to help parents cope effectively. Further implications are presented in the article.