The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 141–154

Building resilience in children of mothers who have Co-occurring Disorders and histories of Violence

Intervention model and implementation issues


    • Institute for Health and Recovery
  • Elke Rechberger
    • Systems Change Center, PROTOTYPES
  • Lisa A. Russell
    • ETR Associates
  • Nancy R. VanDeMark
    • Arapahoe House, Inc
  • Chanson D. Noether
    • Analysis Division, Policy Research Associates
  • Maura O'Keefe
    • the School of Social Work at the University of Southern California
  • Karen Gould
    • WELL Child Project at Institute for Health and Recovery
  • Susan Mockus
    • TAMAR Program, Baltimore
  • Melissa V. Rael
    • SAMHSA/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Special Issue

DOI: 10.1007/BF02287263

Cite this article as:
Finkelstein, N., Rechberger, E., Russell, L.A. et al. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research (2005) 32: 141. doi:10.1007/BF02287263


Historically, children of parents with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders and histories of violence/trauma have been overlooked in behavioral health treatment systems. The Women, Co-occurring Disorders and Violence Study (WCDVS) was a 5-year initiative funded by the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that included a Children's Study that explored the treatment needs of children of women with these multiple disorders. This article describes the development of the Children's Study intervention that included clinical assessment, group intervention, and resource coordination/advocacy for children aged 5–10 to build resilience through increasing coping skills, improving interpersonal relationships, and helping coalesce positive identity and self-esteem. Innovative procedures, including the participation of consumer/survivor/recovering women and mothers, in the planning, implementation, and administrative applications of this intervention and study are also highlighted. It is recommended that programs begin to implement family-focused integrated treatment approaches that can potentially increase protective factors for children affected by parental mental illness, substance abuse, and violence.

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Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare 2005