ERIC Number: ED317918
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of Parental Alcoholism on the Personality Characteristics of College Students.
Chambliss, Catherine; Hassinger, Jill E.
The majority of the studies that have investigated the relationship between an alcoholic family of origin and personality variables have concluded that certain negative personality characteristics are present in adult children of alcoholics. In order to fully explore the consequences of being a child of an alcoholic, it is first necessary to examine the alcoholic family system. This study investigated whether a sample of college students who were adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) did exhibit greater levels of these negative personality characteristics than did their non-ACOA peers. The relationship between parental alcohol use and the respondents' alcohol use was also of interest. Subjects (N=103) were college students in an introductory psychology course who completed a questionnaire in which they reported how well they could see themselves in the negative personality characteristics, their parents' drinking behavior, and their own drinking behavior. Scores on the ACOA characteristics were not correlated with the overall measure of parental alcoholism, ACOA self-identification, nor the respondents' alcohol use. These findings raise important questions about the accuracy of the common portrayal of ACOAs in the literature. Perhaps the characteristics associated with ACOAs in the literature are relatively common in all people, regardless of their parents' drinking behavior. The survey instrument is appended. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A