Parental self-efficacy beliefs and psychological distress among adults with addiction


Background. The parental' self-efficacy beliefs (PSEB) is the parent's self-assessment of parenting skills (Coleman et Karraker, 2000). The PSEB is both a predictor and a consequence of the parent's psychological distress (Kunseler et al., 2014). In this sense, a low PSEB may harm the mental health of the parent, while a high level of PSEB decreases the risk of psychological distress. (Albanese et al., 2019). Parents with good PSEB have more confidence in their educational practices and are more invested in their relationship with their children. In return, parents with low PSEB would adopt more inadequate parenting practices (Albanese et al., 2019). While several studies have examined the influence of PSEB on psychological distress, few studies have focused on the inverse relationship, namely the impact of psychological distress on PSEB. This lack of information is also present among parents who are addicted to alcohol and drugs, for whom psychological distress is often present.

Objectives:Considering the negative impacts that a low PSEB can have on children (learning difficulties, behavior problems) (Albanese et al., 2019) and parents , the present study aims to identify (1) if the level of psychological distress among adults with addiction is associated with the quality of their PSEB and (2) if the quality of educational practices (supervision, discipline) and the quality of the parent-child relationship contribute to this relationship.

Method. The sampling is composed of 40 parents (76% being mothers) participating in a family program who were asked about their PSEB (Dumka et al., 1996), their psychological distress (Préville et al., 1992), their educational practices (Frick, 1991) and their parent / child relationship (Rohner, 2005). Of these parents, 52% report a mild to moderate PSEB, 60% anxiety, 48% depression, and 25% irritability. Concerning parenting practices, 40% report having difficulties (supervision and discipline) and 48% report a negative relationship with their children (hostile, careless, or dismissive). Analysis: Correlations and linear regression analyzes aimed at predicting the quality of the feeling of PSEB were performed.

Results and conclusion. The results indicate that the level of psychological distress is negatively associated with PSEB (r(40)=-.51, p<.05). Parents who have a higher level of psychological distress would have lower PSEB. When associated with psychological distress, the quality of parenting practices would explain, in part, the PSEB (R2= .26, p = .04), but on their own, parenting practices do not seem to be associated with the PSEB (supervision, r(40)=.22; discipline, r(40)=-.31). Perhaps, the quality of parenting practices would be a consequence of the low BSEB, rather than a predictor (Albanese et al., 2019). Regarding the parent/child relationship, parents who have a negative relationship with their child have lower PSEB (r(40)=.47 to .57, p<.05). Associated with psychological distress, the parent/child relationship would also explain, in part, the quality of the PSEB (R2= .45, p = .002). The results support the relevance of introducing interventions targeting the psychological distress of alcohol and drug addicted adults to improve their PSEB and their parenting practices.


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