Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS)



Committee Chair

Janeen Amason, PhD, RN

First Committee Member

Doreen Wagner, PhD, RN

Second Committee Member

Gene Ray, PhD


In the United States, substance addiction is a major contributing factor to incarceration of mothers and separation of children from their families. Five hundred Family Treatment Courts (FTC) operate across the country to combat the growing problem of women addicted to drugs. The FTC model provides mothers with substance addiction treatment, intensive judicial monitoring, repeated drug testing, counseling, incentives or sanctions, and case management with the goal of reaching long term sobriety and reunification with their children. Understanding characteristics that may influence graduation from the Family Treatment Court will provide valuable information on developing interventions to support participants’ success and to guide nursing practice, nursing education and nursing research. This retrospective study examined the relationship of socio-demographic characteristics and substance use characteristics, in predicting participants’ graduations from the FTC program. Study findings suggest when graduates of the FTC program were compared to nongraduates, those participants who completed the program were older, completed CBT training, remained in the FTC program longer, had children that resided with the participant during treatment, and had completed high school. These results convey the need for development of interventions tailored to each participant’s individual characteristics to maximize the success of the FTC participants and further research studies to expand scholars’ understanding of substance addiction.