The purpose of this grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) study was to explore the experiences of racially and culturally diverse young mothers whose own mothers abused substances two decades ago when substance abuse peaked in inner city, urban neighborhoods in the United States and to identify the factors that have influenced how they parent their own children today. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten drug-free mothers who report having been raised by a mother who was addicted to drugs, primarily crack cocaine during their childhoods. The emergent grounded theory is that exposure to maternal substance abuse has a significant and unique impact on female children throughout their lifespan, with particular emphasis at the onset of motherhood. Among the goals the young mothers expressed is that they wanted to "be there" for their children, protect their daughters from sexual abuse, and raise sons who do not abuse women.


Grounded Theory, Maternal Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence, Parent/Child Relationships, Resilience, Attachment, Child Abuse, Neglect

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