Parent and child co-resident status among an Australian community-based sample of methamphetamine smokers Academic Article uri icon


  • Introduction

    Children in families where there is substance misuse are at high risk of being removed from their parents' care. This study describes the characteristics of a community sample of parents who primarily smoke methamphetamine and their child or children's residential status.

    Design and methods

    Baseline data from a prospective study of methamphetamine smokers ('VMAX'). Participants were recruited via convenience, respondent-driven and snowball sampling. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to estimate associations between parental status; fathers' or mothers' socio-demographic, psychosocial, mental health, alcohol, methamphetamine use dependence, alcohol use and child or children's co-residential status.


    Of the 744 participants, 394 (53%) reported being parents; 76% (88% of fathers, 57% of mothers) reported no co-resident children. Compared to parents without co-resident children, parents with co-resident children were more likely to have a higher income. Fathers with co-resident children were more likely to be partnered and not to have experienced violence in the previous 6 months. Mothers with co-resident children were less likely to have been homeless recently or to have accessed treatment for methamphetamine use.

    Discussion and conclusions

    The prevalence of non-co-resident children was much higher than previously reported in studies of parents who use methamphetamine; irrespective of whether in or out of treatment. There is a need for accessible support and services for parents who use methamphetamine; irrespective of their child or children's co-residency status. Research is needed to determine the longitudinal impact of methamphetamine use on parents' and children's wellbeing and to identify how parents with co-resident children (particularly mothers) can be supported.


  • Ward, B
  • Kippen, R
  • Reupert, A
  • Maybery, D
  • Agius, PA
  • Quinn, B
  • Jenkinson, R
  • Hickman, M
  • Sutton, K
  • Goldsmith, R
  • Dietze, Paul M

publication date

  • 2020