Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)




Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology

Committee Director

Michelle L. Kelley

Committee Member

James F. Paulson

Committee Member

Perry Duncan

Committee Member

Bryan E. Porter

Committee Member

Kathrin Hartman


The purpose of this study was to examine the role of children and mental illness in women's compliance in a treatment program for substance abuse. Information was retrieved from medical records of female clients ( N=221) who took part in a community-based day treatment program for substance abuse in a large city in southeastern Virginia during a 32-month period. It was anticipated that, as compared to women who resided with minor children, women who did not reside with minor children would have greater treatment success defined as: (1) more days in the treatment program; (2) higher percentage of negative toxicology screens during the treatment program and (3) greater likelihood of treatment compliance. It was also anticipated that, as compared to women who had mental illness, women with no mental illness would have also have greater treatment success as defined above. It was further hypothesized that women with both of these protective factors (e.g., no dependent children and no mental illness) would have greater treatment success than woman with either or none of these protective factors. Results demonstrated that neither dependent children nor mental illness, alone or in combination had a significant impact on the number of days women stayed in treatment or the percentage of negative toxicology screens; however, women with mental illness tended to have more days in treatment. Furthermore, women with mental illness were significantly more likely to be classified by the program staff as treatment compliant than women without mental illness.


A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculties of The College of William and Mary, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology through the Virginia Consortium Program in Clinical Psychology.


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