Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 451–482 | Cite as

Substance Abuse in Children of Parents with Mental Illness: Risks, Resiliency, and Best Prevention Practices

  • Carol T. Mowbray
  • Daphna Oyserman


Published research on the effects of parental mental illness diagnosis or symptoms on childhood substance abuse (SA) is reviewed. Family and environmental circumstances related to having a parent with a mental illness also put these children at risk for SA. Risk and protective factors for developing a substance use or related disorder in these children are summarized. Recommendations for SA prevention in children of parents with mental illness are presented and used to critique existing substance abuse prevention programs. Limitations of the research are noted vis-à-vis lack of participant racial/ethnic diversity, inconsistent results, methodological flaws, and few efficacy studies.

adolescents substance use disorders parent-child relations mental illness prevention 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol T. Mowbray
    • 1
  • Daphna Oyserman
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Michigan School of Social WorkAnn Arbor
  2. 2.Institute for Social Research and School of Social WorkUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor

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