NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED357312
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Pages: 33
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Adult Children of Alcoholics: Security, Avoidance and Ambivalence in Attachment to Parents.
Ballard, Mary E.
Children of alcoholics are at risk for socioemotional and behavioral problems. Adult children of alcoholic parents (ACAs) are at risk for problems in interpersonal relationships. ACAs have been found to have decreased self-esteem and self-acceptance in comparison to adults whose parents are not alcoholic (NACAs). College students who were young adult children of alcoholic parents (N=41) and non-alcoholic parents (N=50) were administered the Attachment Interview for Adults, designed to tap security provision, avoidance, ambivalence and/or resistance in the parent-child relationship. The hypothesis that parental alcoholism would negatively affect aspects of the parent-child relationship was supported. In particular, ACAs were significantly less secure and more avoidant and ambivalent/resistant in their relationships with their alcoholic fathers than were NACAs. Additionally, when both parents were alcoholic, ACAs differ from NACAs in attachment security and ambivalence/resistance toward the mother. Increased avoidance in the child-mother relationship was evident only when the mother was the alcoholic parent. However, in this sample the alcoholism of one parent did not affect the ACA's attachment to the non-alcoholic parent. Despite limitations, the results clearly show that ACAs are at risk for disturbed attachment relationships to their alcoholic parent and that this risk is heightened if both parents are alcoholic. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A