CORK Bibliography: Adult Children of Alcoholics
32 citations. 2003 to present
Prepared: June 2012
Amodeo M; Griffin M; Paris R. Women's reports of negative, neutral, and positive effects of growing up with alcoholic parents. Families in Society 92(1): 69-76, 2011. (55 refs.)Parental alcoholism does not necessarily result in negative outcomes for the offspring; we examined whether it would result in negative perceptions of the experience. Black women and White women with alcoholic parents (N = 126) rated and described the effect of parental alcoholism on them: 65% reported a negative effect, 26% reported a positive effect, and 7% reported a neutral effect. We examined these ratings in relation to the women's overall adult adjustment. More positive ratings were associated with being Black and with variables such as social support, experiencing lower family conflict, and having no alcohol problem oneself. Human service providers need greater access to research findings to see that children from these families will be diverse in their psychological and social functioning.
Copyright 2011, Alliance for Children & Families
Amodeo M; Griffin ML. Sibling agreement on retrospective reports of parental alcoholism and other childhood events. Substance Use & Misuse 44(7): 943-964, 2009. (38 refs.)Studies have used siblings to verify subject reports of retrospective data and examined variables influencing subject-sibling agreement, but questions remain. From 1998 to 2000, we examined a community sample of women (N = 143) in a metropolitan area, aged 21-60, balanced by race, parental alcoholism, and social class, as well as their siblings, using standardized, self-administered questionnaires and an interview. Research questions: Do subject and sibling reports agree? Do reports vary by subject characteristics, or the type of childhood experience? Descriptive statistics showed that agreement was strong for measures of parental alcoholism and psychiatric problems, weaker for family environment, and varied little by subject characteristics. Study limitations and implications are noted, and future research suggested.
Copyright 2009, Taylor & Francis
Baker AJL. Patterns of parental alienation syndrome: A qualitative study of adults who were alienated from a parent as a child. American Journal of Family Therapy 34(1): 63-78, 2006. (26 refs.)A qualitative retrospective study was conducted on 40 adults who experienced parental alienation as a child. Individuals participated in one-hour, semi-structured interviews. Audiotapes were transcribed verbatim and submitted to a content analysis for primary themes and patterns. Findings pertaining to the process of alienation from the targeted parent were analyzed for this article. Results revealed three distinct patterns of alienation -- narcissistic alienating mothers in intact families, and abusive/rejecting alienating mothers and fathers. Each of these patterns is described in detail along with five additional notable finings: (1) Alcoholism, maltreatment, and personality disorders co-occurred in most of the alienating families, (2) parental alienation occurred in intact families, (3) parental occurred in non-litigious divorced families, (4) some of the targeted parents appeared to play a role in their own alienation, and (5) the alienation was not always completely internalized. The clinical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Copyright 2006, Routledge Journals
Baldwin JN; Scott DM; Agrawal S; Bartek JK; Davis-Hall RE; Reardon TP et al. Assessment of alcohol and other drug use behaviors in health professions students. Substance Abuse 27(3): 27-37, 2007Alcohol and other drug (AOD) use behaviors of health professions students (HPS) were assessed by surveying both university-based HPS and other nursing programs in a Midwestern state in 1999. Response was 2,646 (56.4%) of surveyed students. Family history of alcohol-related and drug-related problems were reported by 39.8% and 13.9%, respectively, with 42.6% of respondents reporting one or both. Among nursing respondents, 48.1%, 19.2% and 51.1%, respectively, reported family problems with alcohol, drugs, or one or both. Past-year alcohol use was comparable to undergraduate college students (UCS) nationally (83%); heavy drinking, tobacco and recreational drug use by HPS were lower. Past year drug use was highest among medical students. Marijuana was the predominant illicit drug; medical students and males most often reported use. Health professions educational systems should proactively address student AOD prevention, education and assistance needs.
Copyright 2007, Association for Medical Education & Research in Substance Abuse
Balsa A. Parental problem-drinking and adult children's labor market outcomes. Journal of Human Resources 43(2): 454-486, 2008. (37 refs.)Current estimates of the societal costs of alcoholism do not consider the impact of parental drinking on children. This paper analyzes the consequences of parental problem-drinking on children's labor market outcomes in adulthood. Using the NLSY79, I show that having a problem-drinking parent is associated with longer periods out of the labor force, lengthier unemployment, and lower wages, in particular for male respondents. Increased probabilities of experiencing health problems and abusing alcohol are speculative forces behind these effects. While causality cannot be determined due to imprecise IV estimates, the paper calls for further investigation of the intergeneration costs of problem-drinking.
Copyright 2008, University of Wisconsin Press
Balsa AI; Homer JF; French MT. The health effects of parental problem drinking on adult children. Journal of Mental Health Policy & Economics 12(2): 55-66, 2009. (34 refs.)Background: Much of the research on adult children of alcoholics has focused on the transmission of drinking patterns from parents to their children and the development of alcohol-related problems. Less is known about how exposure to parental problem drinking affects children as they progress into adulthood in terms of other mental health outcomes. This is crucial information, in part because the average age of onset for depression and other mental health disorders is during late adolescence or young adulthood. Aims: The objective of this study was to rigorously assess the long-term impacts of parental problem drinking on adult children's mental and self-perceived overall health. The study improves on previous literature by analyzing a range of mental health markers and other predictors of morbidity, by focusing on a period of adulthood that only a limited number of studies have examined, and by using data from a highly regarded and nationally representative panel study. Data: The analysis used data from the NLSY79, a nationally representative sample of 12,686 men and women. The NLSY79 collected detailed information about personal and family characteristics, including alcohol and other substance use, for a cohort of individuals who were between the ages of 14 and 22 when first surveyed in 1979. The survey was re-administered each year through 1994 and on a biennial basis since then. The dataset provides information on parental drinking and identifies problematic drinking behaviors both among mothers and fathers. Beginning with the 1998 survey, an extensive health module was administered to respondents over 40 years of age to provide a baseline health profile of the respondents before retirement. It includes a set of measures that assess the mental, physical, and behavioral health of the respondents when they reached the age of 40. Methods: Estimation was conducted using propensity score matching (PSM) methods. Through the use of PSM methods, we control for a rich set of observed demographic, household, geographic, and economic characteristics, as well as unobserved features correlated with these variables, that predispose a parent to drink problematically, thereby reducing the possibility of estimation bias. In addition, PSM is superior to traditional multivariate regression in that it allows for the possibility of non-linear effects and the comparison of treatment and control individuals with similar characteristics. Results: The results indicate that parental problem drinking is associated with significant mental health consequences for children that persist far into adulthood. Adult respondents with a problem-drinking father were more likely to have been diagnosed with mental health problems relative to other respondents, while those with a problem-drinking mother had poorer self-perceived health and mental health (SF-12) scores. Respondents with a problem-drinking mother were also more likely to have ever been diagnosed with a mental health problem. Outcomes were worse for daughters of problem drinkers than for sons. Policy Implications: These long-lasting consequences of parental problem drinking on adult children's mental health should be considered when designing and financing interventions targeting problem drinkers and their families.
Copyright 2009, International Centre for Mental Health Policy and Economics
Bissonnette M; Wall AM; Wekerle C. Childhood maltreatment, parental alcoholism, and beliefs about alcohol and violence among treatment seeking adults. (meeting abstract). Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 28(5 Supplement): 144A-144A, 2004. (0 refs.)
Burd L; Marsolf JT; Jeulson T. FASD in the corrections system: Potential screening strategies. Journal of FAS International 2(February): e1, 2004. (17 refs.)Feral alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a leading cause of intellectual deficits, behavioral disorders, impairment and neurological abnormality. co-morbid mental illness is present in over 90% of patients with FAS. Previous research has demonstrated that people with FAS have frequent contact with corrections systems. However, the disorder is largely unrecognized in corrections systems. Objectives: We present a rationale for FAS screening in corrections systems and potential screening strategies. methods Four screening strategies are presented. The four strategies A through D are incremental. Strategy A is an easy to implement, low cost effort to identify offenders considered to be of high risk for FAS by staff discussion and review. Strategy D is a resource intensive population based screening strategy to screen an entire prison or population of offenders. For eachof these strategies, the rationale, its pros and cons, costs, and requisite training, and procedures are outlined. We conclude that FAS may be common in the corrections system and that a high degree of suspicion for the disorder is warranted. We propose further research on development and epidemiological evaluation of screening tools and strategies for screening in the corrections system. Sample forms for assessment are provided.
Copyright 2004, The Hospital for Sick Children
Cuijpers P; Steunenberg B; van Straten A. When children of problem drinkers grow old: Does the increased risk of mental disorders persist? Addictive Behaviors 31(12): 2284-2291, 2006. (24 refs.)It is well established that children of problem drinkers have an increased risk of developing mental health problems, not only during childhood but also when they grow up into adolescents and adults. However, it has not been examined whether this risk is also present during the old age of these children. In this study, we examine the question whether this increased risk is present in inhabitants of eleven residential homes (mean age 85 years). A total of 355 residents indicated whether one of their parents ever had problems with alcohol. We also used the MINI diagnostic interview to assess the presence of mental disorders. We found that parental problem drinking was significantly associated with having a major depression (current and lifetime), and with the number of drinks in the past week. No significant relationship was found with alcohol-related disorders and anxiety disorders. It was already known that parental problem drinking results in mental health problems in children. We found clear indications that these problems do not disappear when these children grow old.
Copyright 2006, Elsevier Science
Ferraro FR; Douglas J; Marino J. Inhibiting irrelevant information in adult children of people with alcoholism. Journal of Psychology 141(2): 173-180, 2007. (23 refs.)Adult children of people with alcoholism (ACAs; n = 21) and adults with no family history of alcoholism (non-ACAs; n = 24) completed a task designed to test inhibitory ability using a reaction-time based negative priming task. Although participants in the ACA group responded more slowly overall, they did not differ on this task as compared with participants in the non-ACA group. This pattern of results suggests that inhibitory ability is preserved in ACAs, at least within the context of the current negative priming task. The authors discuss study limitations and inconsistencies in the ACA literature.
Copyright 2007, Heldfref Publications
Fuller BE; Chermack ST; Cruise KA; Kirsch E; Fitzgerald HE; Zucker RA. Predictors of aggression across three generations among sons of alcoholics: Relationships involving grandparental and parental alcoholism, child aggression, marital aggression and parenting practices. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 64(4): 472-483, 2003. (84 refs.)Objective: This longitudinal study uses a three-generation database involving measures of grandparental and parental alcohol use disorder (AUD), marital aggression and aggression to offspring to predict early and later childhood aggression of third generation offspring. Given the importance of aggressive, undercontrolled behavior in the etiology of alcoholism, the purpose of this study was to construct a statistical model of intergenerational aggression and alcoholism among family members. Method: Participants were a population-based sample of 186 young sons of alcoholics and both biological parents and 120 nonsubstance abusing families and their age-matched sons drawn from the same neighborhoods. Extensive family data were collected at baseline and at 6 years postbaseline. Structural equation modeling evaluated retrospective and prospective relationships between grandparental and parental predictors of the sons' childhood aggression when they were 3-5 and 9-11 years of age. Results: The final model showed that grandparental marital aggression predicted development of parental antisocial behavior, which predicted parental alcoholism and marital aggression and partially mediated level of child aggression among their sons as preschoolers. Significant autostabilities in level of child aggression, parental AUD and marital aggression were present in families over the 6-year interval. Marital aggression was a more important predictor of son's preschool aggression; direct parental aggression to the child was more important at 9-11. Child aggression at 3-5 also was a partial mediator of level of parent-to-child aggression at 9-11. Conclusions: Results indicate continuity of aggression across three generations and also indicate that the child's pathway into risk for later AUD is not simply mediated by parental alcoholism, but is carried by other comorbid aspects of family functioning, in particular aggression.
Copyright 2003, Alcohol Research Documentation, Inc. Used with permission
Gilbert RE. Ronald Reagan's presidency: The impact of an alcoholic parent. Political Psychology 29(5): 737-765, 2008. (101 refs.)Ronald Reagan enjoyed a successful political career. Nevertheless, his political life was affected dramatically by the fact that he was the son of an alcoholic parent. Alcoholic parents leave deep marks on their children's lives, even after those children become adults. As president of the United States, Reagan clearly demonstrated these marks. He was aloof and distant, was often a disengaged leader, showed inordinate loyalty to associates even when such loyalty became problematic, was prone to live in a world of make-believe, married compulsive women, and craved approval and applause. Each of these behavioral characteristics was part of the psychological legacy left to this president by his long-dead alcoholic father. Some of them damaged his presidency greatly; others, however, may well have assisted it.
Copyright 2008, Blackwell Publishing
Gogineni A. Gender differences in parental alcoholism and alcohol use problems and depression among adult daughters. (meeting abstract). Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 28(5 Supplement): 190A-190A, 2004. (0 refs.)
Gustafson DH; McTavish FM; Schubert CJ; Johnson RA. The effect of a computer-based intervention on adult children of alcoholics. Journal of Addiction Medicine 6(1): 24-28, 2012. (23 refs.)Objectives: People who grow up with a family member who has a substance use disorder (SUD) are at risk for serious problems, and yet support for family members focuses mainly on the individual with the SUD. Technology may offer a way to make support widely available to family members of those with SUDs. This small randomized trial examined an online system of resources called CHESS (Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System) for adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs), a population at greater risk for SUDs, depression, and other difficulties than adults whose parents were not alcoholics. Methods: The study randomized 23 self-identified ACOAs to 3 interventions for 8 weeks. The goal was to increase participants' treatment compliance and psychological health. The interventions were therapy only, CHESS only, and CHESS plus therapy. We used 2 measures: compliance with treatment, gauged by attendance in group therapy for the 2 groups assigned to therapy, and aspects of psychological health or distress, measured by a survey with items from 7 scales. Results: The CHESS-plus-therapy group had an attendance rate in group therapy of 81.5% compared to 42.8% for the therapy-only group. The CHESS-only intervention had the largest effect size on 5 of the 7 measures of psychological health or distress. In 4 of the 5 cases, the effect size was large; in 1 case, it was moderate. Conclusions: The findings of this pilot study are based on a small sample, but they suggest the need for more research and the potentially important role of technology in behavioral health treatment.
Copyright 2012, Lippinocott, Williams & Wilkins
Hall J. Childhood perceptions of family, social support, parental alcoholism, and later alcohol use among African American college students. Journal of Substance Use 15(3): 157-165, 2010. (29 refs.)This study investigated differences in alcohol use, family of origin, and social support between a sample of adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs, 25 males and 25 females), and a sample of adult children of non-alcoholics (non-ACOAs, 25 males and 25 females). Participants completed a battery of tests: a demographic questionnaire, the Children of Alcoholics Screening Test, the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test, the Family of Origin Scale, and the Dimension of Social Support Scale. Analysis of variance revealed that the two groups differed on alcohol consumption and family of origin, with ACOAs reporting significantly less alcohol use, and non-ACOAs reporting healthier families of origin. The findings indicate that not all ACOAs abuse alcohol or struggle with social or behavioural problems.
Copyright 2010, Informa Healthcare
Hall JC. The impact of kin and fictive kin relationships on the mental health of Black adult children of alcoholics. Health and Social Work 33(4): 259-266, 2008. (19 refs.)The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how kin and fictive kinship relationships help to ameliorate or buffer responses to parental alcoholism and the breakdown in parenting. This qualitative study investigated coping responses developed by college students, who self-identified as adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) who lived with an alcoholic parent or caregiver. In-depth interviews and follow-up participant checks were used. A descriptive model was developed describing conditions that affected the development of positive self-esteem, the phenomena that arose from those conditions, the context that influenced strategy development, the intervening conditions that influenced strategy development, and the consequences of those strategies. Subcategories of each component of the descriptive model are identified and illustrated by narrative data in relation to the ACOAs' psychological well-being. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.
Copyright 2008, National Association of Social Workers
Hansson H; Rundberg J; Zetterlind U; Johnsson KO; Berglund M. An intervention program for university students who have parents with alcohol problems: A randomized controlled trial. Alcohol and Alcoholism 41(6): 655-663, 2006. (78 refs.)Aim: To study the effects of alcohol and coping intervention among University students who have parents with alcohol problems. Methods: A total of 82 university students (56 women and 22 men, average age 25) with at least one parent with alcohol problems were included. The students were randomly assigned to one of three programs: (i) alcohol intervention program, (ii) coping intervention program, and (iii) combination program. All programs were manual based and individually implemented during two 2-h sessions, 4 weeks apart. This assessment contained both a face-to-face interview and six self-completion questionnaires; AUDIT, SIP, EBAC, coping with parents' abuse questionnaire, SCL-90 and ISSI. Follow-up interviews were conducted after 1 year. Results: All participants finished the baseline assessment, accepted and completed the intervention, while 95% of the students completed the 12-month follow-up assessment. The two groups that received alcohol intervention improved their drinking pattern significantly more than the group that did not receive alcohol intervention [change of standardized scores -0.27 (CI -0.53 to -0.03)]. The groups receiving coping intervention did not differ from the group not receiving coping intervention concerning their ability to cope with their parents' alcohol problems. Nor did they differ regarding changes in their own mental health or in their social interaction capacity. Conclusion: The intervention improved drinking patterns in adult children of alcoholics.
Copyright 2006, Medical Council on Alcohol
Harkness D. To have and to hold: Codependency as a mediator or moderator of the relationship between substance abuse in the family of origin and adult-offspring medical problems. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 35(2): 261-270, 2003. (66 refs.)This pilot study explored the putative role of codependency as a mediator or moderator of the relationship between substance abuse in the family of origin (SAFO) and offspring medical problems in a counterbalanced multiple-treatment experiment with a heterogenous sample of adult males and females. Codependent attitude and behavior were moderators that attenuated the relationship between SAFO and two measures of acute offspring medical problems, but codependent behavior amplified the relationship between SAFO and chronic medical problems. Challenging replications are called for.
Copyright 2003, Haight-Ashbury Publications
Harkness D; Manhire S; Blanchard J; Darling J. Codependent attitude and behavior: Moderators of psychological distress in adult offspring of families with alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 25(3): 39-52, 2007This study explored a model of codependent attitude and behavior as moderators of the relationship between AOD problems in the family of origin (AODF) and offspring self-reports of psychological distress in a counterbalanced multiple-treatment experiment with a small heterogeneous sample of adult males and females. Three-directional hypotheses suggested by the literature were tested. Codependent attitude and behavior buffered somatization, as predicted by the model, but exacerbated anxiety, hostility, and paranoid ideation. Our findings suggest that codependent attitude and behavior may be adaptations that protect AODF offspring from somatic distress, not the broadband expressions of offspring neuroticism reported in the literature. Owing to the small size and self-selection of our volunteer sample, replications with larger samples are called for.
Copyright 2007, Haworth Press
Hussong AM; Chassin L. Stress and coping among children of alcoholic parents through the young adult transition. Development and Psychopathology 16(4): 985-1006, 2004. (66 refs.)The transition to young adulthood is both a time when risky health behaviors such as substance misuse peak and a time of opportunity for growth and development through the acquisition of adult roles. In this transition, coping styles include responses to the stressors and opportunities associated with the emergence of adulthood. The extent to which such coping styles are skillfully employed in part determines adjustment into adulthood. The current study used a high-risk, longitudinal design to examine the development of coping styles over adolescence, continuity in these coping styles from adolescence to adulthood, the impact of coping on adult stress and substance misuse, the ability of coping to buffer effects of stress on substance use, and differences in coping between at-risk youth (i.e., children of alcoholics [COAs]) and their peers. A sample of 340 adolescents completed four assessments over ages 11-23. We used latent trajectory models to examine interindividual and intraindividual change in coping over time. Evidence for both change and continuity in the development of coping from adolescence to adulthood was found, although adolescent coping had limited impact on stress and substance use in adulthood. Support was also found for complex stress-buffering and stress-exacerbating effects of coping on the relations between major life events and adult drug use and between stress associated with the new roles of adulthood and heavy alcohol use. Implications of these findings for development and adjustment in the transition to adulthood are discussed.
Copyright 2004, Cambridge University Press
Kearns-Bodkin JN; Leonard KE. Relationship functioning among adult children of alcoholics. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 69(6): 941-950, 2008. (75 refs.)Objective: The purpose of the current research was to examine the impact of both maternal and paternal alcoholism on the relationship functioning of husbands and wives over the early years of marriage. Method: Couples (N = 634) were assessed at the time of marriage, and again at their first, second, and fourth anniversaries. Husbands and wives completed separate, self-administered questionnaires at home. Results: Results of separate repeated measures analyses of covariance revealed that, for both husbands and wives, the appraisal of their marital relationship was associated with alcoholism in the opposite gender parent. That is, for husbands, alcoholism in the mother was associated with lower marital satisfaction across the 4 years of marriage. For wives, alcoholism in the father was related to lower marital intimacy. Husbands' physical aggression was influenced by mother's and father's alcoholism; high levels of physical aggression were present among men with alcoholic mothers and nonalcoholic fathers. Interestingly, wives' experience of husband's aggression was also highest among women with alcoholic mothers and nonalcoholic fathers. Wives also reported engaging in high levels of physical aggression when they had an alcoholic mother and a nonalcoholic father, but this effect was restricted to the early part of the marriage. Finally, parental alcoholism was associated with both husbands' and wives' attachment representations. Conclusions: The present findings suggest that children raised in alcoholic families may carry the problematic effects of their early family environment into their adult romantic relationships.
Copyright 2008, Alcohol Research Docuentation
Kelley ML; French A; Bountress K; Keefe HA; Schroeder V; Steer K et al. Parentification and family responsibility in the family of origin of adult children of alcoholics. Addictive Behaviors 32(4): 675-685, 2007. (33 refs.)The present study examined parentification and family responsibility in the families of origin of 103 female college students who met criteria for being Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs) as compared to 233 women who did not. The gender of the parent with an alcohol problem (mother only, father only, both parents, neither) was also examined in relation to family roles. Participants completed the Parentification Questionnaire-Adult (PQ-A; Sessions, M. W, and Jurkovic, G. J. (1986). Parentification Questionnaire-Adult (PQ-A). Unpublished document. Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA), the Filial Responsibility Scale-Adult (FRS-A; Jurkovic, G. J., and Thirkield, A. (1999). Filial Responsibility Scale-Adult (FRS-A). Unpublished document. Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA), the Children of Alcoholics Screening Test (CAST; Jones, J. W. (1983). The Children of Alcoholics Screening Test: Test manual. Chicago: Camelot), and indicated whether they suspected their mother/father of a drinking problem. ACOAs reported more parentification, instrumental caregiving, emotional caregiving, and past unfairness in their families of origin as compared to non-ACOAs. However, as compared to ACOAs who indicated that their father was the alcohol-abusing parent or non-ACOAs, respondents who thought their mothers had an alcohol problem reported greater past unfairness. In addition, ACOAs who thought their mothers had a problem with alcohol abuse reported more parentification and emotional caretaking than did non-ACOAs.
Copyright 2007, Elsevier Science
Kelley ML; French A; Schroeder V; Bountress K; Fals-Stewart W; Steer K et al. Mother-daughter and father-daughter attachment of college student ACOAs. Substance Use & Misuse 43(11): 1562-1573, 2008. (14 refs.)This 2005 study compared parent-child attachment in 89 American female Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs) as compared to 201 non-ACOAs. Women attended a large university in the southeastern United States. Participants categorized as ACOA on the Children of Alcoholics Screen Test (CAST; Jones, 1983) reported significantly more negative affect and less support from their fathers as indicated on the Parental Attachment Questionnaire (Kenney, 1987). When results were examined by the gender of the alcohol-abusing parent, participants who suspected their fathers were problem drinkers did not differ from non-ACOAs in their attachment to either parent. As compared to non-ACOAs, women who self-identified as daughters of problem-drinking mothers reported poorer attachment both to mothers and fathers.
Copyright 2008, Taylor & Francis
Kelley ML; Schroeder VM; Cooke CG; Gumienny L; Platter AJ; Fals-Stewart W. Mothers' versus fathers' alcohol abuse and attachment in adult daughters of alcoholics. Journal of Family Issues 31(11): 1555-1570, 2010. (48 refs.)Gender of the alcohol-abusing parent was examined in relation to general and romantic attachment (as measured by the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised and the Relationship Scales Questionnaire) in female adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs; as indicated by the Children of Alcoholics Screening Test) as compared to non-ACOAs. As compared to non-ACOAs, ACOAs reported more anxious and avoidant behaviors in their romantic relationships. Female participants who suspected their mother of alcohol abuse reported significantly greater avoidance within romantic relationships as compared to those who suspected neither parent of having an alcohol problem. No differences emerged in relation to general attachment.
Copyright 2010, Sage Publications
Martens M; Hatchet ES; Martin JL; Fowler RM; Fleming KM; Karakashian MA et al. Does trait urgency moderate the relationship between parental alcoholism and alcohol use? Addiction Research & Theory 18(4): 479-488, 2010. (37 refs.)Many college students engage in unsafe amounts of alcohol use, resulting in considerable alcohol-related problems. Several recent studies have shown that trait urgency is positively associated with a variety of addictive behaviors. What is not known is the way it may interact with other risk factors of alcohol use in predicting alcohol-related outcomes. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to determine if trait urgency moderated the relationship between parental alcoholism and both alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. Data were collected on 324 undergraduate students who were participating in a research study as a result of an alcohol-related judicial infraction. Results indicated that trait urgency moderated the relationship between parental alcoholism and alcohol-related problems, but not parental alcoholism and alcohol use. There was a strong positive relationship between parental alcoholism and alcohol-related problems for those high in trait urgency, while no relationship existed between parental alcoholism and alcohol-related problems for those low in trait urgency. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Copyright 2010, Taylor & Francis
Moak JT. Parent-target similarity as a stimulus for aggression in adult children of alcoholics. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B 63(11-B): 5529, 2003The purpose of this study was to compare adult children of men alcoholics (COAs) to other adults on a laboratory measure of aggression. Participants (total N = 90) were allowed to press a button that purportedly delivered an unpleasant noise to headphones that were worn by two unseen targets, one of whom was described similarly to each participant's biological father. The two targets, who were actually fictional, were purportedly engaged in a task that required concentration and fine motor skills, and for which they could lose accumulated monetary rewards if they were sufficiently distracted by the noise. The dependent variables were number and duration of button presses. It was hypothesized that the COA Group would be more aggressive overall, and that COAs, but not Non-COAs, would direct more aggression toward the Father-Similar Target. Contrary to the hypotheses, there was a significant Group X Target interaction, in which the Father-Similar Target elicited greater duration of button presses by the Non-COA Group than by the COA Group. There was no significant main effect for either Group or Target. The laboratory measures could not be validated, because they did not correlate with previously-validated, self-report measures of aggression. Men scored higher than did women, on both of the laboratory measures, and on the Physical Aggression and the Verbal Aggression Scales of the Aggression Questionnaire. There were no group differences on any of the self-report aggression measures. Multiple regression analyses of the self-report data revealed that respondents' own alcohol use, but not paternal alcoholism, nor years of cohabitation with their biological fathers, was a significant predictor of aggression on the Aggression Questionnaire Anger Scale and Total Aggression Scale, and on the Aggression Subscale of the Adjective Checklist. Years of cohabitation, not paternal alcoholism, was a significant predictor of participant score on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Years of cohabitation and AUDIT score were positively correlated. Results appear consistent with some previous studies that found COAs to be no more aggressive than non-COAs.
Copyright 2003, University Microfilms International
Moore T; McArthur M; Noble-Carr D. Different but the same? Exploring the experiences of young people caring for a parent with an alcohol or other drug issue. Journal of Youth Studies 14(2): 161-177, 2011. (50 refs.)Although children of parents with an alcohol or other drug (AOD) issue appear to assume a range of caring responsibilities within their families they have, until recently, been excluded from the growing body of young-carer research, policy and practice. This is problematic, as this group may experience greater levels of social exclusion whilst experiencing similar negative impacts of care as their caring peers. This paper discusses the findings of an exploratory qualitative research project conducted in Canberra, Australia which attempted to further understand these young people's experiences and to consider how they might best be supported. The paper challenges the way that young caring has been conceptualised and suggests that unless a number of conceptual, structural and organisational changes are made, young people caring for a parent with an AOD issue may remain relatively unsupported.
Copyright 2011, Taylor & Francis
Morgan PT; Desai RA; Potenza MN. Gender-related influences of parental alcoholism on the prevalence of psychiatric illnesses: Analysis of the National Epidemiology Survey on alcohol and related conditions. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 34(10): 1759-1767, 2010. (37 refs.)Background: Offspring of individuals with alcoholism are at increased risk for psychiatric illness, but the effects of gender on this risk are not well known. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the gender of the parent with alcoholism and the gender of offspring affect the association between parental alcoholism and offspring psychiatric illness. Method: We analyzed the National Epidemiology Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) data to examine the gender-specific prevalence of axis I and axis II disorders in 23,006 male and 17,368 female respondents with and without a history of paternal or maternal alcoholism. Adjusted odds ratios were calculated for the disorders based on gender and presence of maternal or paternal alcoholism. Results: Maternal or paternal alcoholism was associated with a higher prevalence of every disorder examined, regardless of the gender of offspring. Gender-related differences in prevalences were present in nearly all examined disorders, and the association between parental alcoholism and offspring psychiatric disorders was significantly different in men and women. These differences included stronger associations in female offspring of men with alcoholism (alcohol abuse without dependence); in female offspring of women with alcoholism (mania, nicotine dependence, alcohol abuse, and schizoid personality disorder); in male offspring of men with alcoholism (mania); and in male offspring of women with alcoholism (panic disorder). Conclusions: Interactions between gender and parental alcoholism were specific to certain disorders but varied in their effects, and in general female children of women with alcoholism appear at greatest risk for adult psychopathology.
Copyright 2010, Research Society on Alcoholism
Ohannessian CM; Hesselbrock VA. Do alcohol expectancies moderate the relationship between parental alcoholism and adult drinking behaviors? Addictive Behaviors 29(5): 901-909, 2004. (17 refs.)The relations between parental alcoholism, alcohol expectancies, and adult drinking behaviors were examined among 76 offspring of alcoholics and 68 offspring of nonalcoholics. The primary goals of the present study were to examine whether maternal and/or paternal alcoholism are related to adult alcohol expectancies and to explore whether the relationship between parental alcoholism and adult drinking behaviors is moderated by alcohol expectancies. Gender differences also were assessed. Findings indicated that alcohol expectancies were not significantly influenced by parental alcoholism. Significant moderating effects for global-positive expectancies and sexual enhancement expectancies also were not obtained. In contrast, social assertiveness expectancies were found to consistently moderate the relationship between paternal alcoholism and drinking behaviors. These results indicated that offspring of alcoholic fathers with high expectations for increased social assertiveness were most "at risk" for problematic drinking, especially males.
Copyright 2004, Elsevier Science Ltd
Olmsted ME; Crowell JA; Waters E. Assortative mating among adult children of alcoholics and alcoholics. Family Relations 52(1): 64-71, 2003. (57 refs.)Relations between parental alcoholism, self-alcoholism, and partner-alcoholism were examined in a nonclinical, non-self-identified sample of 128 married and engaged young couples. Couples were recruited to participate in a longitudinal study of close relationships. They were assessed using three alcoholism questionnaires that included reports of parent-, partner-, and self-alcohol use. Participants were predominantly White and well educated. Cross-sectional analyses indicated that alcoholics tend to marry other alcoholics and that male adult children of alcoholics (ACOA) are more likely, to be alcoholic than their female counterparts. The relation between parental alcoholism and partner's alcoholism was affected by self-alcoholism in male participants. There was a significant relation between ACOA status and marriage to alcoholics for women that was not affected by their own alcoholism.
Copyright 2003, National Council on Family Relations
Pearson MR; D'Lima GM; Kelley ML. Self-regulation as a buffer of the relationship between parental alcohol misuse and alcohol-related outcomes in first-year college students. Addictive Behaviors 36(12): 1309-1312, 2011. (30 refs.)Alcohol misuse among college students is a large public health concern, thus, it is imperative to identify factors that reduce this risk. One risk factor associated with developing alcohol-related problems is meeting criteria for being an adult child of an alcoholic (ACOA). Conversely, self-regulation has been identified as a protective factor that is inversely associated with drinking-related outcomes. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether self-regulation buffers the risk associated with ACOA status on alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences. In a sample of 195 first-year college students, we found that ACOA status had a unique effect on both alcohol consumption and alcohol-related consequences. Self-regulation was unrelated to alcohol use but inversely associated with alcohol-related consequences. Notably, self-regulation moderated the effect of ACOA status on alcohol-related problems (but not alcohol consumption) such that self-regulation was most strongly related to alcohol-related problems among ACOAs. Our results suggest that self-regulation helps explain the resilience of many ACOAs.
Copyright 2011, Elsevier Science
Scharff JL; Broida JP; Conway K; Yue A. The interaction of parental alcoholism, adaptation role, and familial dysfunction. Addictive Behaviors 29(3): 575-581, 2004. (20 refs.)Many people believe that parental alcoholism has adverse consequences on children -- some research fails to support this hypothesis. Familial dysfunction is often regarded as having a more important impact on adults, perhaps because of a failure to recognize that adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) may have adopted more than one coping strategy. The present study investigated within-group differences in psychological symptomology as measured by the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI). ACOAs, were compared by roles (Hero, Mascot, Lost Child, and Scapegoat) to non-ACOAs as measured by familial dysfunction and roles. MANOVA indicated significant main effects of dysfunction, role, ACOA, and an interaction of role and ACOA. Failures to recognize the impact of parental alcoholism may be caused by multiple adaptation strategies.
Copyright 2004, Elsevier Science
Vungkhanching M; Sher KJ; Jackson KM; Parra GR. Relation of attachment style to family history of alcoholism and alcohol use disorders in early adulthood. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 75(1): 47-53, 2004. (59 refs.)The present study examined the association between paternal alcoholism and attachment style in early adulthood and sought to determine whether attachment style might, at least partially, mediate intergenerational risk for alcoholism. The current report focuses on the cross-sectional relation between family history (FH) of alcoholism, attachment styles, and alcohol use disorders (AUD) when cohort members were, on average, 29 years old (N=369; 46% male; 51% FH+). Results indicated that FH+ participants were more likely to have insecure attachment, characterized by fearful-avoidant and dismissed-avoidant styles. Additionally, fearful-avoidant and dismissed-avoidant attachment styles were related to the presence of an AUD even after controlling for sex and FH (P<0.05). There was little evidence, however, that attachment style mediated the relation between paternal alcoholism and AUD in offspring; the FH-AUD association was only negligibly reduced when the effect of attachment style was controlled. Our findings suggest that insecure attachment style is a risk factor for AUD, independent of familial risk for alcoholism.
Copyright 2004, Elsevier Scientific Publishers Ireland, Ltd
West SL; Graham CW. Assessing parental alcoholism: Predictor of Hispanic and Anglo college student drinking and other drug use. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 24(3): 93-107, 2006This research was undertaken to assess parental alcoholism as a predictor of the substance-using behaviors of 418 Hispanic and Anglo college students as compared with other potential predictors including age, gender, ethnicity, and membership in Greek societies. Multiple regression tests were conducted with parental alcoholism, participant age, gender, ethnicity, Greek society membership, and the twoway interaction of ethnicity and parental alcoholism as predictors, and total alcohol use, binge drinking, marijuana and cocaine use as criterion variables. Parental alcoholism was not significantly linked to any substance use outcome. Ethnicity significantly predicted abusive drinking, with Anglos reporting more frequent and greater use than Hispanics. Participant age predicted marijuana and cocaine use, with older respondents being more likely to report such use. The high rates of substance use in this population may have lessened the usefulness of parental alcoholism status as a predictor of student substance use.
Copyright 2006, Haworth Press
Xiao Q; Dong MX; Yao J; Li WX; Ye DQ. Parental alcoholism, adverse childhood experiences, and later risk of personal alcohol abuse among Chinese medical students. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences 21(5): 411-419, 2008. (21 refs.)Objective: To determine the status of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the association of multiple ACEs with both parental alcoholism and latter personal alcohol among Chinese medical students with a view of improving adolescent health and reducing alcohol abuse among them. Methods In this cross-sectional study, 2073 Chinese medical students completed a survey on ten categories of ACEs in Anhui province of China. The association of parental alcoholism with ACEs and personal alcohol abuse was assessed by logistic regression analyses. Results: The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for each category of ACEs in the subjects whose parents (either fathers or mothers or both) had alcohol abuse was 2 to 14 times higher than that in those with parental alcoholism (P<0.05). Subjects with bi-parental alcoholism had the highest likelihood of ACEs. Compared with the subjects without ACEs, the risk of personal alcohol abuse was increased by 2-4-folds in the subjects with ACEs, irrespective of parental alcoholism (P<0.05). The total number of ACEs (ACE score) had a graded relationship to 4 categories of personal alcohol abuse with or without parental alcoholism. The prevalence of personal alcohol abuse among the subjects with parental alcoholism was higher, which was independent of ACE scores. Conclusion: The prevalence of ACEs is generally serious in China. Efforts should be made to prevent and treat children with ACEs and subsequently to reduce alcohol abuse and later problems.
Copyright 2008, Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine