Objective: To examine relationships between parenting behaviors, parent-child relationship, and moderating effects of age on youth substance use among a community sample of African-American mothers who use crack cocaine and their children (12-17 years).
Methods: Maternal-child dyads (n = 208) were recruited through street outreach and snowball sampling and completed interviews about substance use and parenting.
Results: Regression analyses found significant main effects of youth age, family conflict, warmth, and disapproval of youth substance use on children's substance use. Age x Parenting interactions were significant for conflict and disapproval. Higher family conflict increased older youths' risk, while higher perceived maternal disapproval protected against substance use for older youth.
Conclusions: Family influences may offer risk and protective effects for adolescent children of maternal drug users. Outreach and family-focused interventions that address family conflict and communication of disapproval of substance use may help reduce intergenerational risk transmission. However, longitudinal research with comprehensive parenting assessments is needed.