Display options
Share it on

Child Youth Serv Rev. 2021 Jul;126. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.106021. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

Types of child maltreatment and child welfare involvement among opioid-using mothers involved in substance use treatment.

Children and youth services review

Angela Moreland, Carla Newman, Kat Crum, Funlola Are


  1. Medical University of South Carolina, 67 President Street, Charleston, SC 29425.

PMID: 34483418 PMCID: PMC8415468 DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2021.106021


Although there is a significant link between maternal substance use and child maltreatment risk, extant literature has not investigated this link specifically among the growing number of parents abusing opioids. Underreporting of opioid use within child welfare presents further challenges in elucidating relations between maternal opioid use and child maltreatment. The purpose of the current study is to examine the link between maternal opioid use in women in substance use treatment and self-reported rates of child maltreatment and child welfare involvement of their children. We examined maternal substance use, severity of substance use, severity and type of child maltreatment of their children, and child welfare involvement across mothers who misuse opioids and misuse other substances using self-report surveys with 89 mothers. Results suggest similarities and differences among mothers who use opioids and other substances. Mothers who use opioids endorsed more significant and prolonged involvement with child welfare than mothers who use other substances. Participants did not endorse significant differences between rates of child maltreatment, and treatment engagement across groups. Given increased awareness of significant risks associated with opioid abuse, including greater risk for child maltreatment, a better understanding of its intersection with child welfare is necessary.

Keywords: child maltreatment; child welfare; opioid use disorder

Conflict of interest statement

I do not have any conflicts of interest to report.


  1. Hosp Pediatr. 2019 Aug;9(8):651-654 - PubMed
  2. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2020 Jan;108:4-8 - PubMed
  3. Addict Behav. 2016 Jul;58:167-74 - PubMed
  4. J Pediatr Health Care. 2017 Nov - Dec;31(6):695-702 - PubMed
  5. Child Maltreat. 2007 May;12(2):137-49 - PubMed
  6. Child Youth Serv Rev. 2011 Mar 1;33(3):466-472 - PubMed
  7. NCHS Data Brief. 2017 Dec;(294):1-8 - PubMed
  8. JAMA. 2012 May 9;307(18):1934-40 - PubMed
  9. J Addict Dis. 2011 Jan;30(1):17-26 - PubMed
  10. Child Welfare. 2015;94(4):19-51 - PubMed
  11. Pain. 2007 Jul;130(1-2):144-56 - PubMed
  12. Child Abuse Negl. 2000 May;24(5):599-610 - PubMed
  13. Addiction. 2008 Dec;103(12):2008-16 - PubMed
  14. Addict Behav. 2014 May;39(5):897-900 - PubMed
  15. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2018 Feb 1;183:118-126 - PubMed
  16. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Mar;30(2):93-104 - PubMed
  17. Child Welfare. 2001 Mar-Apr;80(2):109-28 - PubMed
  18. Eur Addict Res. 2003 Jul;9(3):113-9 - PubMed
  19. Child Abuse Negl. 1995 Mar;19(3):315-23 - PubMed
  20. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2009 Apr;36(3):278-93 - PubMed
  21. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2016 Dec;71:63-67 - PubMed
  22. Pediatr Rev. 2011 Jan;32(1):5-12; quiz 12-3 - PubMed
  23. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2015 Jan;34(1):31-7 - PubMed
  24. Addiction. 2002 Sep;97(9):1183-94 - PubMed
  25. Health Aff (Millwood). 2018 Jan;37(1):134-139 - PubMed
  26. J Nurs Meas. 2007;15(3):163-76 - PubMed

Publication Types

Grant support