"I've Fixed Things Up": Paternal Identity of Substance-Dependent Fathers

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Abstract

This study deals with how substance-dependent men perceive their paternal identity. Data were based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 Israeli fathers who were enrolled in methadone maintenance treatment. Content analysis revealed that participants had undergone a process of parental identity formation composed of four distinct stages: absence, awakening, taking responsibility, and resolution to re-form oneself as a father. The discussion highlights the developmental nature of this process. Also discussed are the effects of three factors on the formation of paternal identity: the treatment for addiction, the subjects' newfound identity as "clean addicts," and social perceptions and discourses about fatherhood and addiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-908
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Relations
Volume61
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Fatherhood
  • Methadone maintenance treatment
  • Paternal identity
  • Substance-dependent men

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