Rhonda TylerFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Tamika S. Hibbert


Family Drug Court, Hispanic Mothers in Family Drug Court, IntervenHtion Strategies, Recovering Hispanic Mothers, Substance Abuse, Therapeutic Jurisprudence


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Other Education


The purpose of this critical ethnographic study was to understand the phenomena of generational substance abuse of Hispanic mothers. By participating in family drug court (FDC), a therapeutic judicial program, rather than incarceration, mothers have a greater opportunity to address their substance abuse issues (Brown, 2010). Motivated to restore their domestic structures, FDC often allows them to address their substance abuse issues and regain custody of their children, who are usually in family or state’s care (Choi, 2012). In this study, generational substance abuse will be generally defined as those women who are FDC participants and have lost custody of their children, predisposing their children to become substance abusers. The theories guiding this study are Vygotsky’s (1934) Social Development Theory due to his work with the interdependence of individual and social processes; Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory (1986) on human motivation and action; and the cultural work of Boas and Mead (1928). A FDC counselor, (gatekeeper of this study), provides access to clients in FDC and to graduates for up to one year. By using several artifacts the study was a purposeful sample clearly depicting the culture of the group. Data were gathered through fieldwork (Wolcott, 2008) in the form of observations, surveys, interviews, and a100-Item Parent Behavior Checklist (Fox, 1994a) recognizing client sensitivity. Interpretation of the data provided an essence of the phenomenon, producing a cultural portrait, integrating both emic and etic views. Fetterman’s (2010) approach of triangulating the data helped in identifying that this group of women need intervention strategies to improve their: education; employment, housing, parenting skills, decisions, cultural appreciation, and goal setting abilities.