Contribution to a Book
Jennifer A. Theiss & Kathryn Greene
Alcoholism is a family illness that has implications for the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of the spouse and children of individuals with alcoholism (Johnson & Stone, 2009). One in four families in the United States is affected by alcoholism (Grant, 2000), with approximately 26.8 million children growing up with a parent with alcoholism (Alcohol and Drug Programs [ADP], 2007). Children of parents with alcoholism tend to experience more frequent depression and struggle to develop healthy intimate relationships when compared to children of parents without alcoholism (Drejer, Theikjaard, Teasedale, Schulsinger, & Goodwin, 1985). Adult children of alcoholics (ACoA) who had a distressed relationship with a parent report feelings of alienation, poor communication ability, difficulty trusting others, increased emotional longing, negative attitudes toward the parent, and increased anxiety (Kelley et al., 2011; Straussner & Fewell, 2011). Taken together, these findings suggest that the interpersonal conditions in families coping with alcoholism can have a lasting effect on the well-being of ACoA. Thus, the goal of this study is to examine how communication patterns in families coping with a parent’s alcoholism are associated with psychological outcomes for ACoA in adulthood.
Marie Haverfield and Jennifer Theiss. "Alcoholic and Nonalcoholic Parents’ Orientations toward Conformity and Conversation as Predictors of Attachment and Psychological Well-Being for Adult Children of Alcoholics" Contemporary Studies on Relationships, Health, and Wellness (2018): 291-314. doi:10.1017/9781108304344.015