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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Children, women, and substance abuse: A look at recovery in a communal setting
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This study explored the sense of community among women (n = 21) and women with children (n = 30) living in Oxford Houses, with emphasis on how the presence of children might affect the household. Sense of community did not vary between participants with more or less than three months residence. Residents reported very high levels of satisfaction with the home, possibly because of a ceiling effect of little room for increases in their sense of community over time. Participants reported that they were getting along with the children in the home, that mothers could count on babysitting help, and that the children had a positive effect on the household and their own recovery process. This effect did not differ between mothers and non-mothers, suggesting that non-mothers might view the children in the home with a sense of responsibility and sensitivity comparable to that of the mothers. Implications are discussed.