This study deals with how substance-dependent men perceive their paternal identity. Data were based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 12 Israeli fathers who were enrolled in methadone maintenance treatment. Content analysis revealed that participants had undergone a process of parental identity formation composed of four distinct stages: absence, awakening, taking responsibility, and resolution to re-form oneself as a father. The discussion highlights the developmental nature of this process. Also discussed are the effects of three factors on the formation of paternal identity: the treatment for addiction, the subjects' newfound identity as 'clean addicts,' and social perceptions and discourses about fatherhood and addiction. (Author abstract)
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