A Comparison of Mothers with Co-occurring Disorders and Histories of Violence Living with or Separated from Minor Children

  • Joanne Nicholson
  • Norma Finkelstein
  • Valerie Williams
  • Jennifer Thom
  • Chanson Noether
  • Megan DeVilbiss
Regular Article


Data from the Women with Co-occurring Disorders and Histories of Violence Study are used to examine characteristics distinguishing mothers currently providing care for all their minor children (n = 558) from mothers separated from one or more minor children (n = 1396). Mothers are described and compared on background characteristics and experiences, well-being and current functioning, situational context, and services used. Analyses control for number of children, race, and years of education. Mothers separated from children have more children, less education, have more often been homeless, in juvenile detention or jail, and have lower incomes than mothers living with all their children. Mothers separated from children have more extensive experiences of traumatic and stressful life events, and the groups differ in current functioning and patterns of services used. While cross-sectional data do not allow causal inferences, challenges faced by mothers have significant implications for policy and programs.


Foster Care Brief Symptom Inventory National Comorbidity Survey Addiction Severity Index Minor Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was funded under Guidance for Applicants (GFA) No. TI 00-003 entitled Cooperative Agreement to Study Women with Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health (ADM Disorders who have Histories of Violence: Phase II) from the Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's three centers: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Center for Mental Health Services, and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (March 2000).


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Copyright information

© National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joanne Nicholson
    • 1
  • Norma Finkelstein
  • Valerie Williams
  • Jennifer Thom
  • Chanson Noether
  • Megan DeVilbiss
  1. 1.Center for Mental Health Services Research, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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