Fraser JG, Harris-Britt A, Thakkallapalli EL, Kurtz-Costes B, Martin S. Emotional availability and psychosocial correlates among mothers in substance-abuse treatment and their young infants. Infant Ment Health J. 2010 Jan 1;31(1):1-15.

Emotional availability (EA) was investigated among low-income mothers enrolled in substance-abuse treatment and their young infants (n = 21) compared with a demographically matched group of mother-infant pairs who, by self-report, were not at risk for substance abuse (n = 27). The mother-infant dyads in the treatment group generally demonstrated poorer EA functioning than those in the comparison group, but few differences between the groups on individual dimensions of EA were significant. This finding was notable considering that mothers in treatment reported significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms and psychological stress. Treatment effects may have buffered the negative impact of depression and psychological stress on mothers' EA scores. The clinical implications of the findings are discussed as they relate to substance-abuse-treatment services for pregnant and parenting women.

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