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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 160654 Find in a Library
Title: Recovery Movement Harms ACOAs (Adult Children of Alcoholics) (From Alcoholism, P 171-176, 1994, Carol Wekesser, ed. -- See NCJ-160630)
Author(s): S J Wolin; S Wolin
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Greenhaven Press
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
Sale Source: Greenhaven Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The recovery movement encourages adult children of alcoholics (ACOA's) to think of themselves as victims; they should be influenced to think of themselves as survivors, so they can build their self-esteem as the foundation for rebuilding their lives.
Abstract: There are two models that provide paradigms for how to view the circumstances of ACOA's. In the Damage Model, children are passive; they are without choices to help themselves; and consequently their inevitable fate is to be wounded and to grow up as damaged adults. In the Challenge Model, the family is not only a destructive force, but it also provides opportunities in the lives of its children. Survivors are wounded in the Challenge Model, too, and they are left with scars as adults, but they are also challenged by the family's troubles to experiment and to respond actively and creatively. Their pre-emptive responses to adversity, repeated over time, become incorporated into the self as lasting capabilities that give them distinctive strengths and personality traits. Over the past 10 years, the Damage Model has become dominant in the popular culture through the so-called "recovery movement." This movement glorifies frailty, lumps trivial dissatisfactions with serious forms of mental illness, and portrays the human condition as a disease. The very strengths that enable children of hardship to prevail are being twisted around, labeled as illnesses, and identified as the cause of lifelong pathology. The Challenge Model focuses on the use of the positive survival skills developed while addressing the debilitating coping mechanisms that obstruct healthy functioning and relationships.
Main Term(s): Children of drug abusers
Index Term(s): Alcoholics; Children of alcoholics; Treatment
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