Relational psychotherapy mothers' group: A randomized clinical trial for substance abusing mothers

Suniya S. Luthar, Nancy E. Suchman, Michelle Altomare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to ascertain the effectiveness of the Relational Psychotherapy Mothers' Group (RPMG), a supportive parenting group intervention for substance abusing women. Sixty mothers receiving RPMG were compared to 67 women receiving recovery training (RT); both treatments supplemented treatment in the methadone clinics. At the end of the 6-month treatment period, RPMG mothers showed marginally significant improvement on child maltreatment (self-reported) and cocaine abuse based on urinalyses when compared with RT mothers; notably, children of RPMG mothers reported significantly greater improvement in emotional adjustment and depression than children of RT mothers. At 6 months follow-up, however, treatment gains were no longer apparent. Overall, the findings suggest that whereas supportive parenting interventions for substance abusing women do have some preventive potential, abrupt cessation of the therapeutic program could have deleterious consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-261
Number of pages19
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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