ERIC Number: ED360607
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Alcoholism on Grandchildren: A Bowenian Perspective.
Ralph, Barbara J.; Coll, Kenneth M.
In comparing the personality characteristics of late adolescent and young adult children of alcoholics with those of their peers, it was found that individuals with grandparents who were alcoholics in the absence of parental alcoholism were very similar to children of alcoholics. Grandparents may exert a social influence by passing on dysfunctional family patterns and through negative role modeling. The purpose of this paper is to examine existing literature on the effects of grandparental alcoholism on grandchildren and to look at related Bowenian theoretical constructs. It explains that Bowen's theory highlights the nuances of the emotional dependencies in a family and the degree of responsiveness and reactiveness family members have toward each other, viewing the family itself as an organism. It is suggested that identification of the multigenerational effects of alcoholism may be helpful to community counselors who may encounter grandchildren of alcoholics who are unaware of the source of their problems that prompted them to seek counseling. Characteristics of grandchildren of alcoholics are described and the Bowenian perspective is discussed. It is concluded that, using Bowen's theories, alcoholism can be seen as having multigenerational effects. Implications for counselors are presented. Counselors are encouraged to help these grandchildren of alcoholics to not become enmeshed in self-pity, but to look forward to the future with new understanding and new decision-making capabilities. Contains 15 references. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A