“I missed open arms”: The need for connectedness among Black youth affected by parental drug use

Asari Offiong, Terrinieka W. Powell, Quiana Lewis, Bianca Smith, Morgan Prioleau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Parental drug use has significant impacts on the physical, behavioral and social well-being of adolescents, particularly those from disenfranchised communities. We conducted a qualitative study to understand connectedness among Black youth affected by parental drug use in Baltimore, Maryland USA. In-depth interviews (N = 30) were conducted with three groups: parents with a history of drug use, youth (18-24yo) who had a biological parent with a history of drug use and youth providers with experience working with families affected by drug use. Data were analyzed inductively using a content analytic approach. Three salient themes emerged: (1) missing parental connections, (2) the desire for consistent, trusted adults and (3) the consequences of missed connections. All participants emphasized the limited emotional support and guidance provided to youth affected by parental drug use. However, extended family members (e.g., grandmothers, aunts, and older siblings) and community mentors stepped in to fulfill unmet needs, when possible. The consequences of missed connections were increased involvement in risky behaviors, fewer basic necessities and a missed childhood. Findings from the study deepen the understanding of how to support the well-being of youth impacted by parental drug use and highlight the value of including the voices of vulnerable families in research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105072
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume114
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adverse childhood experiences
  • Social support
  • Substance-related disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of '“I missed open arms”: The need for connectedness among Black youth affected by parental drug use'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this