The Family Life project was the first qualitative longitudinal study of children and young people's experiences of family life in the context of parental substance misuse.

As explained in the project summary, the aim is to create a detailed exploration of young people’s experiences of family life over time which will benefit future interventions working in the area of parental substance misuse and child welfare. The study explores:

  • Experiences of family life over time
  • Relations within the family and extended family
  • Young people’s coping strategies
  • Young people and parents’ strategies for care and support

The study was funded by the Department of Health and was based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, with the University of Stirling as a collaborating partner.

Research findings

There are three key reports related to the Family Life research.

Juggling Harms: Coping with parental substance misuse­

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Kathrin Houmoller, Sarah Bernays, Sarah Wilson and Tim Rhodes (2011)

See me, not just the problem: Hiding, telling, coping with a difficult family life­

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Tim Rhodes, Sarah Bernays, Kathrin Houmoller and Sarah Wilson (2011)

Parents who use drugs: Accounting for damage and its limitation­

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Tim Rhodes, Sarah Bernays, Kathrin Houmoller (2010)