Mental Health Weekly Digest (2007) conducted research to determine if children of alcoholic parents, ages 2 through 17, externalized symptoms. Their research was based on the analysis of two individual studies.
The study done by Hussong, Huang, Curran, Chassin, & Zucker (2010)tested children ages 2 to 17 to see if they showed externalized symptoms at the same time the parent showed alcohol-related consequences, if parents showed greater alcohol-related consequences during the study period, and to see if parents had a lifetime diagnosis of alcoholism that predated the study period, identified as distal effects. The study done by Smith, Eisenberg, Spinrad, Chassin, Morris, & Kupfer (2006) examined a sample of school-age children with a history of alcoholism, either in parents or in grandparents. Parents and older siblings reported on the children's coping strategies, parents also reported on their parenting behavior, and finally, teachersreported on the children's externalizing and internalizing issues.
The purpose of this study done by Jiloha (2002) was to establish whether parental alcoholism put children at higher risk for psychiatric disorders. Thestudy involved 50 alcoholic fathers, 50 non-alcoholic fathers, and 170 children. Group 1 consisted of 30 families, containing 68 children, which did not have an elder member abusing alcohol. Group 2 consisted of 20 families, containing 40 children, who did have an elder member of the extended family abusing alcohol and group 3 was the non-alcoholic control group, with 62 children. The children were given a questionnaire to collect data and were interviewed, along with other significant family members, to obtain more information on socio demographic variables (Jiloha, 2002).
The goal of the research done by Klostermann & Kelley (2009) was to measure the effects of parental alcoholism on children and the effects of children's exposure to intimate partner violence.
Barnow, Lucht, Hamm, John & Freyberger (2004) conducted experiments regarding the relationship of a family history of alcoholism, obstetric complications, and negative parenting practices to aggression and delinquency problems in their children. Additionally, they studied the predictive strength of these factors in regards to these characteristics.
Harter, S., & Taylor, T. (2000) used a series of self-report tests to gather their information. One of these tests was the children of alcoholics screening test, which measures children's experiences related to their parent's drinking behavior, a personal experiences survey which measures childhood experiences of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Another test was the SCL-90-R, or symptom checklist-90-revised, which measures psychological symptoms in the past week of taking the survey. Finally, they used a self-reported social adjustment scale, which assessed school and/or work responsibilities, social relationships, and relationships to extended family. The purpose of these surveys and experiment over all was to assess the long-term effects and co-occurrence of parental alcoholism and childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.
The study done by Johnson and Stone (2009) investigated the impact of parental alcoholism on family functioning in various levels of young adults. The study involved 813 college students who completed a Differentiation of Self Inventory, a Self-Report Family Inventory Version II, as well as questions relating to experiences in their families.
In the study done by Lam, Fals-Stewart, & Kelley (2008), some couples were sent to parent skills with behavioral couple’s therapy, other couples were sent to behavioral couple therapy without parent training and the remaining couples were sent to individual based treatment without couples therapy or parent skill training. Afterwards, parents completed measures of child externalizing and internalizing behaviors at pretreatment, post treatment and a 6 and 12 month follow up. Children also completed self-report of internalizing symptoms at each assessment.
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Table of ContentsPAGE | TITLE | RESEARCHERS3. Hypothesis4. Creating symptoms (Mental Health Weekly)5. Creating symptoms cont. (Hussong, Huang, Curran, Chassin, & Zucker, 2010 and Smith, Eisenberg,Spinrad, Chassin, Morris, & Kupfer, 2006)6. Creating symptoms- Contradictory research (Slutske, Donofrio, Turkheimer, Emery, Harden,Heath, & Martin, 2008)7. Effects of verbal and visuospatial abilities (Corral, Socorro, & Cadaveira, 2003)8. Risk for causing psychopathology (Jiloha, 2002)9. Risk for causing psychopathology cont. (Klostermann & Kelley, 2009)10. Delinquency (Barnow, Lucht, Hamm, John, & Freyberger, 2004)11. Alcoholism and Abuse (Harter & Taylor, 2000)12. Adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) (Johnson & Stone, 2009)13. Factors that help children of alcoholics (Johnson & Stone, 2009 and Lam, Fals-Stewart, & Kelley,2008)14. Further research15. References16. References cont.
Hypothesis Parental alcoholism in combination with an unsupportive environment causes adverse characteristics in the child.
Creating Symptoms Children with an antisocial alcoholic parent or two alcoholic parents were at the greatest risk for externalizing symptoms. A child with a depressed alcoholic parent was at the same risk of an antisocial parent. Alcoholic families may convey a genetic susceptibility for alcohol abuse and their environment then exacerbates the susceptibility. (Mental Health Weekly Digest, 2007)
Creating Symptoms cont. The distal effects of parental alcoholism were consistent with an increase of their children externalizing symptoms. The timing of parental alcohol use was related to the children showing symptoms. (Hussong, Huang, Curran, Chassin, & Zucker, 2010) Children who were rated higher in active-support- seeking coping and coping efficacy were rated lower by teachers for externalizing and internalizing adjustment problems. (Smith, Eisenberg, Spinrad, Chassin, Morris, & Kupfer, 2006)
Creating Symptoms- ContradictoryResearch Slutske, Donofrio, Turkheimer, Emery, Harden, Heath, & Martin (2008) experimented to measure the effects of parental alcoholism on children. The study involved 889 twin pairs and 1,176 children who were eligible to be involved in the experiment. The conclusion was that only a minority of children of alcoholics develop alcohol related problems due to their exposure to an alcoholic parent. Their explanation for this is that some children may in fact model their parents drinking behavior, but others are likely to limit their drinking because of their exposure to alcoholism.
Effects of Verbal and VisuospatialAbilities Corral, Holguin, & Cadaveira (2003) did a follow up exam on a group of children who were first interviewed three and a half years ago. The first assessment showed that children from high- density alcoholism family varied significantly in visuospatial abilities and verbal span than children who were not from families with high amounts of alcoholism. The results were that high-density children did catch up with the control group of children as far as verbal span, but differences remained in terms of maturation (Corral, Socorro, & Cadaveira, 2003).
Risk for causing Psychopathology The risk of diagnoses for ADHD, ODD, CD, OAD, and SAD is three times higher if children are from families with alcohol dependent fathers and families in which another elder member is abusing alcohol, than if children are from families that have no one currently abusing alcohol. The conclusion is that there is a potential risk of genetic predisposition to psychiatric disorders as well as other environmental interactions. (Jiloha, 2002)
Risk for causing Psychopathologycont. Children of parental alcoholism often experience negative psychosocial outcomes, including a higher likelihood of externalizing problems such as conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, delinquency and ADD, as well as internalizing problems such as depression and anxiety. Children of alcoholics are more likely to drink earlier and to develop alcohol use problems faster. (Klostermann & Kelley, 2009)
Delinquency Rejection by the parents is the biggest risk factor for aggression, delinquency, and attention problems. (Barnow, Lucht, Hamm, John, & Freyberger, 2004)
Alcoholism and Abuse Parental alcoholism was not significantly related to histories of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. Adult children of alcoholics with no history of physical or sexual abuse did not have increased depression or low self-esteem, but did have increased relationships to substance dependent partners. Parental alcoholism was not related to increased alcohol use in their children. (Harter & Taylor, 2000)
Adult Children of Alcoholics(ACOAs) ACOAs have a tendency to respond to environmental stimuli with emotional flooding, emotional liability, or hypersensitivity ACOAs tend to be more emotionally cut off, have a lack of satisfaction in their lives, and are more likely to experience a compromised ability to develop trust and intimacy (Johnson & Stone, 2009)
Factors that Help Children ofAlcoholics Family health, emotional expressiveness, and family cohesion seem to predict better outcomes in functioning. (Johnson & Stone, 2009) Couples who participated in parent skills training and behavioral couple’s therapy reported significant effects on all child measures throughout the 12 month follow up. Behavioral couple’s therapy reported second best results and individual-based treatment showed the least benefit. (Lam, Fals-Stewart, & Kelley, 2008)
Further Research Research should be done to confirm the given hypothesis. What is the biggest risk factor for adverse characteristics a child can encounter? i.e.: Is it an alcoholic parent, an abusive parent, an absent parent, or a parent who is not appropriately supportive which is most dangerous to the child developing adverse characteristics. If a child is being raised in a negative environment with risks for adverse characteristics, and an individual is placed in that environment who stands out as a positive and supportive influence, would it make a difference in the development of the child?
References Alcoholism; new alcoholism in children research from university of North Carolina, department of psychology outlined. (2007). Mental Health Weekly Digest, 82-82. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/194565765?accountid=34899 Barnow, S., Lucht, M., Hamm, A., John, U., & Freyberger, H. J. (2004). The relation of a family history of alcoholism, obstetric complications and family environment to behavioral problems among 154 adolescents in Germany: Results from the children of alcoholics study in Pomerania. European Addiction Research, 10(1), 8-14. doi:10.1159/000073721 Corral, M., & Cadaveira, F. (2003). Neuropsychological characteristics of young children from high-density alcoholism families: A three-year follow-up. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 64(2), 195-199. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/200431222?accountid=34899 Harter, S. & Taylor, T. (2000). Parental alcoholism, child abuse, and adult adjustment. Journal of Substance Abuse, 11(1), 31-44. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/science/article/pii/S0899328999000188Hu ssong, A. M., Huang, W., Curran, P. J., Chassin, L., & Zucker, R. A. (2010). Parent alcoholism impacts the severity and timing of children’s externalizing symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38(3), 367-80. doi:10.1007/s10802-009-9374-5 Jiloha, R. (2002). Relationship between child psychopathology and parental alcoholism. International Perspectives on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2, 363-374. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/science/article/pii/S1874591102800161 Johnson, P., & Stone, R. (2009). Parental alcoholism and family functioning: Effects on differentiation levels of young adults. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 27(1), 3-18. doi: 10.1080/07347320802586601
References cont. Klostermann, K., & Kelley, M. L. (2009). Alcoholism and intimate partner violence: Effects on children’s psychosocial adjustment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 6(12), 3156-3168. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/227372184?accountid=34899 Lam, W., Fals-Stewart, W., & Kelley, M. (2008). Effects of parent’s skills training with behavioral couple’s therapy for alcoholism on children: A randomized clinical pilot trial. Addictive Behaviors, 33(8), 1076-1080. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/science/article/pii/S0306460308000920 Nefer, B. (2010). Children of alcohol abuse. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/200768-children-of-alcohol-abuse/ NIAAA. (2009). A widespread problem. Retrieved from http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/homework/a/blproblem.htm Slutske, W. S., Donofrio, B. M., Turkheimer, E., Emery, R. E., Harden, K. P., Heath, A. C., & Martin, N. G. (2008). Searching for an environmental effect of parental alcoholism on offspring alcohol use disorder: A genetically informed study of children of alcoholics. The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117(3), 534-551. doi:10.1037/a0012907 Smith, C. L., Eisenberg, N., Spinrad, T. L., Chassin, L., Morris, A., Kupfer, A., (2006). Children’s coping strategies and coping efficacy: Relations to parent socialization, child adjustment, and familial alcoholism. Development and Psychopathology, 18(2), 445-69. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/201698426?accountid=34899