Fathers for Change for Men With Co-occurring Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse


Domestic Violence | Parenting | Substance Abuse

Trial Phase

Phase 1/Phase 2

Trial Purpose and Description

Trial Purpose

Social service systems rarely acknowledge the status of men as fathers in the conceptualization and delivery of treatment for substance abuse or domestic violence. Although there has been extensive focus on the treatment of mothers who abuse substances, are victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) (defined as physical aggression and/or psychological abuse and control at the hands of an intimate partner), or maltreat their children there has been little consideration of the need for interventions for fathers with histories of co-morbid IPV and substance abuse. It is estimated that between 10 and 17.8 million children are witness to violence in their homes each year. National and regional samples indicate 50-70% of families impacted by IPV and the typically co-occurring substance abuse have children under the age of seven. Large percentages of these men continue to live with or have consistent contact with their young children despite aggression and substance use.

Court mandated treatments for perpetrators of domestic violence have become the norm, however the efficacy of these treatments is questionable and most do not speak to the broader needs of batterers and their families. How batterer's treatments might impact parenting and father-child relationships and the psychosocial functioning of children is vastly understudied and not currently understood. Since batterer treatments are court mandated and require tremendous financial and community resources, the efficacy of these interventions in stopping the cycle of domestic violence and improving the health and well-being of the batterer, his partner and children is crucial. There are currently NO evidence-based treatments that address co-morbid substance abuse and domestic violence perpetration with emphasis on paternal parenting and the father-child relationship. Consequently, the proposed psychotherapy development project will develop and evaluate the potential efficacy of a novel, relational parent intervention for fathers with co-morbid substance abuse and IPV who have young children. The goals of this intervention are to decrease aggression and substance abuse by increasing focus on fathering and an improved father-child relationship.

Participation Guidelines

18 Years - 60 Years

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. meet current DSM-IV criteria for substance abuse and who have used a substance within
the 60 days prior to screening;

2. have a police reported incident of IPV (pushing, slapping, kicking) within 6 months
of referral;

3. have at least one biological child under the age of 7 with whom they reside or have
at least weekly visitation.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Have histories of severe physical violence (e.g. choking, causing hospitalization);

2. Men who have an active NO CONTACT protective order pertaining to their partner or

3. Men whose female partners indicate that they do not want the child to participate;

4. If the female partner indicates that she believes her child is afraid of his/her
father and will NOT want to participate;

5. Men who are currently in withdrawal from substances and in need of detoxification;

6. Have cognitive impairment or a lifetime history of any psychotic or bipolar disorder;

7. Are currently suicidal or homicidal.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Yale University
June 2011
Last Updated:
February 18, 2014
Study HIC#:

Clinicaltrials.gov ID: NCT01385553