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NCJ Number: 206551 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Mental Health Problems in Adolescent Children of Alcohol Dependent Parents: Epidemiologic Research with a Nationally Representative Sample
Journal: Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse  Volume:13  Issue:4  Dated:2004  Pages:83-96
Author(s): Isidore S. Obot; James C. Anthony
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Grant Number: T32-DA07292;DA09592
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the relationship between parental alcohol problems and the mental health of their adolescent children.
Abstract: In the United States, at least one in four children is exposed to the problem drinking behavior of at least one parent. The growing body of clinical and research literature suggests that children who reside with drug dependent parents experience a myriad of deleterious outcomes, such as an elevated risk of non-medical drug use. The research results are mixed, however, concerning psychiatric disturbances in children with alcoholic parents. The current study relied on data gathered for the 1995 and 1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA); participants for the current study were 1,729 parent-child pairs living in the same household. The children completed an adapted version of Achenbach’s Youth Self-Report and parents were questioned about their alcohol problems using an adapted version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. The analysis compared the specific mental health problems of adolescent children living with an actively alcohol dependent parent (AD+ children) with the mental health problems of a group of control children not living with an alcohol dependent parent (AD- children). It was hypothesized that the most prominent differences between the AD+ children and AD- children would be in externalizing symptoms. Results of analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that the AD+ children had higher delinquency and aggressive behavior scores as compared with the control group. Results of multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA), which included five sociodemographic variables, confirmed the higher level of delinquency in AD+ children, but failed to confirm the finding of higher levels of aggressive behavior in AD+ children. Once delinquency was held constant, similar patterns of association for the internalizing symptoms were not found. Thus, the findings indicate that, overall, AD+ children have more delinquency problems than adolescents without alcohol dependent parents. Future research should focus on other family environment, parental, and child characteristics that help illuminate the pathways that link parental alcohol dependence to behavioral outcomes in children. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Children of alcoholics; Mental disorders
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Comparative analysis; Secondary data analysis
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