Author(s): ElGuebaly N, Offord DR
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Abstract In their review of the literature on the effects of parental alcoholism on the offspring of alcoholics, the authors focus on sample collection, criteria used for the diagnosis of parental alcoholism, and definitions of "emotional disturbances." Studies are grouped according to age of offspring; within each age group, the various approaches to the issue are described. The authors suggest a need for more carefully controlled studies using blind data collection and clear operational definitions. In addition, the "risk" status of offspring of alcoholics should be compared to that of children whose parents have other types of serious psychiatric disturbance. Although the literature has focused on the "casualties," the authors note that much could be learned from studies of the "successes"--those children who do not seem to be at increased risk for pychosocial illness despite the alcoholism of their parents.
This article was published in Am J Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy