Helping Children of Rural, Methamphetamine-Involved Families: The Case of Rural Illinois

Wendy Haight, Teresa Ostler, James Black, Linda Kingery

Research output: Book/ReportBook

5 Scopus citations


In the late 20th and early 21st century United States, the production and misuse of methamphetamine was a growing and urgent public health, criminal justice, and child welfare problem affecting whole families and communities, particularly in rural areas. Yet, child welfare professionals, social workers, educators, and others working within rural areas had little systematic, descriptive data on which to build effective interventions for the growing numbers of children affected by methamphetamine misuse. This book describes a program of mixed methods research combining strategies from developmental and child clinical psychology, psychiatry, and ethnography to examine the psychological functioning of rural children from methamphetamine-involved families. Participants were twenty-nine children in foster care because of parental methamphetamine misuse, four mothers recovering from methamphetamine addiction, seven foster parents of children from methamphetamine-involved families, and twenty-eight knowledgeable rural professionals (child welfare and law enforcement professionals, substance abuse and mental health providers and educators). Children whose parents abuse methamphetamine are often exposed to toxic chemicals, violence, criminal behavior, and neglect as well as physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Many school-aged children in foster care because of parental methamphetamine misuse have high levels of trauma symptoms and behavior problems. Descriptive information on the contexts in which children are reared, participant observation, psychological testing, and in-depth interviews with children, in conjunction with existing research were used to develop and pilot test an intervention - Life Story Intervention - for rural children in foster care because of parent substance misuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Electronic)9780199864461
ISBN (Print)9780195326055
StatePublished - Nov 19 2008

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2009 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Behavior problems
  • Foster care
  • Life Story
  • Methamphetamine abuse
  • Methamphetamine misuse
  • Parental substance abuse
  • Parental substance misuse
  • Rural mental health
  • Sociocultural
  • Trauma symptoms


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