1. Alcoholism affects the entire family.

2. Many people report being exposed to alcoholism in their families.

3. There is strong, scientific evidence that alcoholism tends to run in families. Children of alcoholics are more at risk for alcoholism and other drug abuse than children of non–alcoholics.

4. Alcoholism usually has strong negative effects on marital relationships.

5. Alcohol is associated with a substantial proportion of human violence, and perpetrators are often under the influence of alcohol.

6. Based on clinical observations and preliminary research, a relationship between parental alcoholism and child abuse is indicated in a large proportion of child abuse cases.

7. Children of alcoholics exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety more than children of non-alcoholics.

8. Children of alcoholics experience higher health care costs than children from non–alcoholic families.

9. Children of Alcoholics score lower on tests measuring verbal ability.

10. Children of alcoholics often have difficulties in school.

11. Children of alcoholics have greater difficulty with abstraction and conceptual reasoning.

12. Children of alcoholics may benefit from adult efforts which help them to:

13. Maintaining consistency around important family activities ("rituals"), such as vacations, mealtimes, or holidays are protective for some alcoholic families.


References

  1. Alcoholism affects the entire family.

    Chafetz, M.E.; Blane, H.T.; Hill, M.F. Children of alcoholics: Observational child guidance clinic. Quarterly Journal Studies on Alcoholism 32:687-698, 1971.

    Filstead, W.; McElfresh, O.; Anderson, C. Comparing the family environment of alcoholic and normal families. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education 26:24-31, 1981.

    Moss, R.H.; Billinop, A.B. Children of alcoholics during the recovery process: Alcoholic and matched control families. Addictive Behaviors 7:155-164, 1982.

    Orford, J. Impact of alcoholism on family and home. In Edwards, G. and Grant, M. Alcoholism: New Knowledge and New Response. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press, 1976.

    Wilson, C.; Orford, J. Children of alcoholics: Report of a preliminary study and comments on the literature. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 39:121-142, 1978.

  2. Many report being exposed to alcoholism in their families.

    Cotton, N.S. The familiar incidence of alcoholism: A review. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 40:89-116, 1979.
    Eigen, L,; Rowden, D. A Methodology and Current Estimate of the Number of Children of Alcoholics in the United States. Children of Alcoholics: Selected Readings, Rockville, MD: National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), 1995.
    “Exposure to Alcoholism in the Family: United States, 1988,” a report based on a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1991.

  3. There is strong, scientific evidence that alcoholism tends to run in families. Children of alcoholics are more at risk for alcoholism and other drug abuse than children of non-alcoholics.

    Claydon, P. Self-reported alcohol, drug, and eating-disorder problems among male and female collegiate children of alcoholics. Journal of American College Health 36:111-116, 1987.

    Cotton, N.S. The familiar incidence of alcoholism: A review. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 40:89-116, 1979.

    Eigen, L,; Rowden, D. A Methodology and Current Estimate of the Number of Children of Alcoholics in the United States. Children of Alcoholics: Selected Readings, Rockville, MD: National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), 1995.

    Johnson, S.; Leonard, K.E.; Jacob, T. Drinking, drinking styles, and drug use in children of alcoholics, depressives, and controls. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 50: 427-431, 1989.

  4. Alcoholism usually has strong negative effects on marital relationships.

    Exposure to Alcoholism in the Family: United States, 1988,” a report based on a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1991.

  5. Alcohol is associated with a substantial proportion of human violence, and perpetrators are often under the influence of alcohol.

    Eighth Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health, Secretary of Health and Human Services, 1993.

    Widom, C.S. “Child Abuse and Alcohol Use.” Research Monograph 24: Alcohol and Interpersonal Violence: Fostering Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1993.

  6. Based on clinical observations and preliminary research, a relationship between parental alcoholism and child abuse is indicated in a large proportion of child abuse cases.

    Famularo, R.; Stone, K.; Barnum, R.; and Wharton, R. Alcoholism and severe child maltreatment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 56:481-485, 1986.

    Russell, M.; Henderson, C.; and Blume, S. Children of alcoholics: A review of the literature. New York, NY: Children of Alcoholics Foundation, Inc. 1985.

    Hamilton, C.J.; and Collins, J.J. Jr. The role of alcohol in wife beating and child abuse: A review of the literature. In Collins, J.J. (Ed.) Drinking and crime: Perspectives on the relationship between alcohol consumption and criminal behavior, 253-287. New York: Guilford, 1985.

    Bavolek, S.J.; Henderson, H.L. Child maltreatment and alcohol abuse: Comparisons and perspectives for treatment. In R.T. Potter-Efron and P.S. Potter-Efron (Eds.) Aggression, Family Violence and Chemical Dependency, 165-184. Binghamton: Haworth,1990.

  7. Children of alcoholics exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety more than children of non-alcoholics.

    Johnson, J.; Rolf, J.E. Cognitive functioning in children from alcoholic and non-alcoholic families. Journal of Addictions 83:849-857, 1988.

  8. Children of alcoholics experience higher health care costs than children from non-alcoholic families.

    Children of Alcoholics Foundation. Children of Alcoholics in the Medical System: Hidden Problems and Hidden Costs, 1988. (Report available from the Children of Alcoholics Foundation, P.O. Box 4185, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-4185)

  9. Children of alcoholics score lower on tests measuring verbal ability.

    Ervin, C.S.; Little, R.E.; Streissguth, A.P. Alcoholic fathering and its relations to a child's intellectual development: A pilot investigation. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 8:362-365, 1980.

    Drejer, K.; Theilgaard, A; Teasdale, T.W. A prospective study of young men at high risk for alcoholism: Neuropsychological assessment. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 9:498-502, 1985.

    Gabrielli, W.F.; Mednic, S.A. Intellectual performance in children of alcoholics. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 171:444-447, 1983.

  10. Children of alcoholics often have difficulties in school.

    Johnson, J.; Rolf, J.E. Cognitive functioning in children from alcoholic and non-alcoholic families. Journal of Addictions 83:849-857, 1988.

  11. Children of alcoholics have difficulty with abstraction and conceptual reasoning.

    Tarter, R.E.; Hegedus, A.M.; Goldstein, G.; Shelly, C.; Alterman, A.I. Adolescent sons of alcoholics: Neuropsychological and personality characteristics. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 8:216-222, 1985.

    Schaeffer, K.W.; Parsons, O.A.; Vohman, J.R. Neuropsychological differences between male familial and nonfamilial alcoholics and non-alcoholics. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 8:347-351, 1984.

  12. Children of alcoholics may benefit from such guidance as: Werner, E.E. Resilient children.

    Young Children 40:68-72, 1984.

  13. Maintaining consistency around important family activities ("rituals"), such as vacations, mealtimes or holidays are protective for some alcoholic families.

    Wolin, S. J.; Bennett, L.A.; Noonan, D.L.; et al. Disrupted family rituals: A factor in the intergenerational transmission of alcoholism. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 41:199-214, 1980.

November, 1995-

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