Children of Alcoholics Helped by Treating the Alcoholic

Does individual treatment for alcoholic fathers benefit their children? A longitudinal assessment

Psychosocial adjustment in 125 children of alcoholics (COAs) was examined before and at 3 follow-ups in the 15 months after their fathers entered alcoholism treatment.

Before their fathers’ treatment, COAs exhibited greater overall and clinical-level symptomatology than children from the demographically matched comparison sample, but they improved significantly following their fathers’ treatment.

Children of stably remitted fathers were similar to their demographic counterparts from the comparison sample and had fewer adjustment problems than children of relapsed fathers, even after accounting for children’s baseline adjustment.

Thus, COAs’ adjustment improved when their fathers received treatment for alcoholism, and fathers’ recovery from alcoholism was associated with clinically significant reductions in child problems.

Andreas JB, O’Farrell TJ, Fals-Stewart W. Does individual treatment for alcoholic fathers benefit their children? A longitudinal assessment. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2006 Feb;74(1):191-8.
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