The Role of Self-Care for Parents in Recovery From Substance Use Disorders: An Integrative Review of Parental Self-Care

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Lack of stress modifiers, such as self-care behaviors (SCBs), can increase vulnerability to drug use for parents in recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs).


The purpose of this integrative review was to determine how the existing literature describes, conceptualizes, and measures SCB for parents in the general population for its application to parents with a history of SUD.


Framed by Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory of Substance Abuse, four qualitative and five quantitative studies identify SCB, although only one study describes SCB of parents in recovery.


Few studies addressed parental SCB, and most of those studies focused on behaviors for new mothers with or without SUDs during the early child years.


Exploring the role of SCB in relation to parental well-being for the general population is a needed area for further research, even more so for parents who are recovering from SUDs.

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