Existential Well-Being, Drug Abuse, and Parenting Stress in African American Women

Dorian A. Lamis, Lindsey M. West, Natasha Mehta, Claire Lisco, Nicholas Tarantino, Christina Wilson, Nadine J. Kaslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The current study examined the influence of existential well-being and drug abuse on parenting stress in a sample of low-income African American women (n = 152). Whereas existential well-being served as a protective factor against all three forms of parenting stress measured (parental distress, difficult child, and parent–child dysfunctional interaction), drug abuse was a risk factor for all three. Existential well-being was also inversely related to drug abuse. A path analysis was conducted to further elucidate the cross-sectional associations among these variables. A positive, indirect effect of existential well-being on two of the three components of parenting stress, parental distress and perceived child behavior problems, but not the third, parent–child relationship quality, through level of drug abuse was found in support of partial meditation. Clinical implications regarding enhancing and using existential well-being as a culturally-relevant coping mechanism for African American caregivers are considered, and the etiological mechanisms of parenting stress are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-699
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • African American
  • Drug abuse
  • Existential well-being
  • Parenting
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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