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Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Antonio Garica


The father's role and the extent of involvement with his children have shifted over the past several decades. As a result, researchers have made considerable advances in understanding paternal influences on child development and families. However, one under-researched topic is how fathers' substance misuse, and the recovery process may influence father involvement and effective co-parenting, and specifically, how spirituality plays a role in that. In this qualitative study, fourteen participants participated in semi-structured interviews. The data revealed two main themes: 1) pillars of a spiritual awakening and 2) applying spirituality to healthy fatherhood engagement.

These findings led to four interpretations: Faith allowed fathers a second chance at life and a transformation in their recovery; Faith paved a way for fathers to reconnect with their children and enjoy fatherhood; Faith encouraged fathers to build a stronger foundation for their families; and fathers need a range of supports to assist them on their recovery journey, and it is important those are grounded in faith. Such knowledge can contribute to the improvement of substance misuse counseling, the enhancement of family dynamics, and the implementation of diverse supports for fathers undergoing treatment.

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