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Empowering Women Through Recovery: Developing Educational Group Sessions on the Effects of Maternal Addiction on Children

Delzangle, Rachel (2013) Empowering Women Through Recovery: Developing Educational Group Sessions on the Effects of Maternal Addiction on Children. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Maternal addiction is a chronic, complex disease which has become an increasing problem across the United States. These women not only have unique needs as women suffering from addiction, but also as mothers. This population faces barriers to treatment, such as lack of child care and a greater prevalence of mental health issues. Integrated treatment programs attempt to meet the unique needs of this population by addressing their barriers, incorporating the mother's physical, social, and mental health needs into the recovery plan, and responding to the children's needs. Sojourner House, an example of an integrated treatment program, is a faith-based, in-patient residential drug and alcohol treatment facility for women and their children in the Garfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Different types of groups, such as educational sessions, are used in treatment programs to discuss various information, allowing participants to gain information while improving their interpersonal skills. When appropriate, written materials can be used to supplement the content of an educational group. The current project began when two graduate students were placed at Sojourner House and tasked with developing a project based on the needs of the site and the site's residents. The students developed and led four weekly group sessions around the effects of maternal addiction on children and created a complementary pamphlet. Several challenges arose during the implementation, mainly revolving around the residents' attendance and emotional states.
Developing a group based on the expressed needs of the residents appeared to be successful, based on the residents' response to the sessions. This project has public health significance because educational groups are needed to teach recovering mothers how maternal addiction affects children, and the resident-centered design of the group focuses on meeting the residents' needs. Sojourner House staff should continue to hold the students' group sessions as needed with new residents. If the students' group does not meet the needs of future residents, the staff should strive to create a group based on their needs to show that their ideas matter and to foster feelings of importance and self-worth amongst the residents.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Marthamaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberFelter, Elizabethemfelter@pitt.eduEMFELTER
Committee MemberHuber, Georgeghuber@pitt.eduGHUBER
Date: 29 January 2013
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 29 November 2012
Approval Date: 29 January 2013
Submission Date: 10 December 2012
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 86
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Maternal addiction, maternal addiction and children, effects of maternal addiction on children, integrated treatment, educational groups, pamphlet development, group design, group leadership, educational group development, Sojourner House
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2013 22:11
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:08


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