Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Abel Knochel


Social Work


This qualitative research study investigated how recovering mothers implemented Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) theoretical philosophies when parenting their children and explored how healing relationships between sober mothers and their children cultivated authenticity, promoted inner healing and improved parent-child relationships. Sober mothers were asked what twelve step concepts they utilized with their children and reflected on how their own recovery experiences helped them to discover their ‘true’ selves. I conducted eight qualitative interviews with sober mothers who attended Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) along with Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) and were parenting children, or had previous parenting experiences, to explore any holistic advantages of parenting in sobriety and gain knowledge of the AA theoretical philosophies these sober mothers implemented with their children.

This research study primarily focused on how sober mothers integrated concepts and practices from their twelve step recovery experiences with their children to develop healing relationships and examined how these healing relationships impacted the inner healing and self-discovery process for sober mothers. I used content analysis, which generated conceptual themes, and compared these generated themes to understand the implications associated with an interpretative phenomenology approach to self-transformation while parenting in sobriety. This research study demonstrates how twelve step ideologies reflect a holistic philosophy. Additionally, this qualitative research study might help clinical professionals to better understand the needs of sober mothers and the potential utilization of concepts from twelve step recovery programs which, when applied with children, promoted adaptive parenting skills and fostered inner healing as well as family resiliency. As a result, clinical professionals can put into practice the information on the use of AA theoretical philosophies as holistic approaches to endorse healing relationships during sobriety in order to support recovering chemically dependent parents.

Included in

Social Work Commons