ERIC Number: ED311371
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988
Reference Count: N/A
School-Aged Children of Alcoholics: Theory and Research. Pamphlet Series.
Johnson, Jeannette L.; Bennett, Linda A.
Despite the research documenting the occurrence of alcoholism in families, little is known about how alcoholism is transmitted from one generation to the next or what causes several members of the same family to abuse alcohol. To date, the most consistent findings among school-aged children are reports of cognitive differences. Health problems, drinking-related traffic accidents, and negative socioeconomic consequences are the more visible adverse effects of alcohol abuse. Children of alcoholics have frequently been labeled as children at risk. These children are more likely to develop alcoholism or other behavior disorders than other children. Specific risk factors and protective factors for children growing up in alcoholic families have not yet been identified. While the literature on adult children of alcoholics is replete with anecdotes about the permeation of feelings of helplessness during childhood, the research on learned helplessness in children of alcoholics is sparse. Retrospective reports of adult alcoholics often indicate childhood problems with impulsive behavior. Other research has shown that alcoholism in the father represents a high psychopathic risk to the child's primary personality structure. No single biological marker distinguishing children of alcoholics from others has been found. Children of alcoholics have typically performed at lower cognitive levels than children of nonalcoholics. Given the state of research on school-aged children of alcoholics, it is safe to conclude that it is not known what causes alcoholism. (Resources for families of alcoholics are listed.) (ABL)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Alcoholism, Children, Drinking, Etiology, High Risk Persons, Intervention, Prevention, Trend Analysis
Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, P.O. Box 969, Piscataway, NJ 08855-0969 ($2.50 + postage; quantity discount--inquire).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rutgers, The State Univ., Piscataway, NJ. Center of Alcohol Studies.
Note: For related documents, see CG 021 983-990.