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Effects of Parental Alcoholism on Children Essay

The Effects of Parental Alcoholism on ChildrenUntil rather recently, the impact of alcoholism wasmeasured by its effect on the alcoholic, by days lost fromwork and highway fatalities. New research, however, hastended to concentrate on the impact of alcoholism on thefamily, especially the children of alcoholics. Numerousstudies have reported on the familial transmission ofalcoholism. It has been shown that alcoholics have morebiological relatives with an alcohol problem than dononalcoholic.

Furthermore, these people have a higherprobability for developing alcoholism earlier in theirlives; and experiencing more severe effects of alcoholismThere are in the vicinity of twenty million childrenunder eighteen years of age whom are growing up inhouseholds where one or both parents are alcoholic, in theUnited States alone. These children are the unwillingvictims of a disease which generally is the center of theirchildhood existence, and therefore shapes their personalityand behavior as adults. Because of the familial nature ofalcoholism children have been identified to be of high riskfor developing this illness (Merikangas p. 199). Unlesssomething is done to break the patterns initiated duringchildhood, a significant percentage, (between 50%-60%), ofthose who dont become alcoholics themselves will marry analcoholic upon reaching maturity, thereby continuing thecycle of abuse and depression. Studies of the developmentof drinking behavior recognize the formation of sociallyappropriate rules about the use of alcohol and the role ofthe parent behaviors and attitudes in determining drinkingpatterns (Wilks & Callan p.

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326). In addition, Clusteringof depression, alcoholism and antisocial personality withinfamilies has been frequently observed (Merikangas p. 199). Alcoholism is a disease of denial, that is, those sufferingfrom it often refuse to admit they are affected by it. Alcoholics with a long history of family alcoholism havemore sever symptoms and more social problems, versus thosefamilies without a history of family alcoholism.

Parents insuch a situation tend to insist to their children that theiralcoholic symptoms are neither serious nor permanent innature. Many alcoholics authentically believe that theiralcoholism is hidden. This is further complicated by thefact that problem drinking is in part a function of thedefinition of oneself as deficient and the concept ofalcohol as useful for altering the definition of oneselfConsequently, the children of alcoholic parents areconfronted with various dilemmas. First, the child sees hisparents drinking in excess, while simultaneously denyingthe fact. Second, the child further observes thepersonality of his parents significantly alter after thealcohol has taken effect, confusing the child to greaterextent, (i.

e. which is my real dad?- from the childspoint of view). In order to cope with the family situation,the child of an alcoholic parent generally learns to goalong with the conspiracy of denial and silence. Although, generally the pattern of secrecy which permitsthis to occur ultimately has affect on the childs futureUnfortunately, the impact on children from familieswith an alcoholic parent is both enduring and direct. Forinstance, these children tend to drop out of schoolvoluntarily in large numbers than any other group ofchildren thus far studied in this correlation, (i.

e. ,duration of voluntary schooling). This has been especiallythe situation with affected male children of alcoholicparents. It has been reported that family history positivemen with alcoholism have had significantly more suspensionsfrom school, poorer academic and social performance inschool, and more premilitary antisocial behavior(Cutter &As previously stated, these children, (those withalcoholic parents), also have a greater incidence ofproblems with alcohol and substance abuse themselves, inlater life.

This condition, in turn, leads to a greaterrisk of developing not only emotional problems but physicalproblems, as well. These problems range from the inabilityto establish rewarding long-term relationships to difficultyfacing reality, traceable to early familial experiences. In many ways, childhood is abbreviated for childrenwhose parents are alcoholics. They learn to parcel outfeelings to avoid upsetting the alcoholic parent or to avoidbeing held responsible for triggering a bout of parentaldrinking.

The manner in which the child relates andresponds is too often determined by the state of thealcoholic, which can be rather unpredictable. The entirefamily is, in fact, engaged in a struggle to control anAs a result, the methods utilized by affected childrento cope with their parents alcoholism initiates a varietyof behavior which inevitably proceeds into adulthood. Therelated problems of behavior and adaptation often are notdistinguishable for ten or twenty years. Even in maturity,these individuals tend to be unable to trust their ownperceptions or feelings. Often, they continue to deny,(just as their parents had), that anything is wrong. Adult children of alcoholics often doubt theirinability to control both themselves and theirrelationships.

Most recent data suggests that concordancefor alcoholism in parents is a potent risk factor for thedevelopment of antisocial personality-conduct disorder inchildren(Merikangas p. 203). Due to the fact that theirlives were in concurrent states of turmoil and confusionwhen they were children, they often believe that the mereexpression of commonplace and normal emotions (i. e. anger,joy) indicates that they lack control. The manner of coping as children permits affectedindividuals to survive as adults in a seemingly normalfashion, for quite a while.

However, crises begin generallyin their to late twenties. Very often, these adults do notrelate their problems to having grown up with an alcoholicparent. They become depressed and dissatisfied with life,without understanding why. They lack an appropriateperspective of normal behavior and have no concept of theirpower to alter this situation because the people who wheresupposed to be responsible for them as children, (theirparents), were not.

Therefore, the adult child of analcoholic has difficulty in identifying needs and/orexpressing feelings. They also have substantial fearsregarding proper responses and social behaviors which dateIn the end alcoholism is a very serious disease whichmust not be taken lightly. It is a legal vice that whenused, or abused can cause irreparable damage. Alcoholismeffects many people and the families of those people, bothBibliography:Works CitedCutter, Henry S.

& T. J. OFarrel. Relationship BetweenReasons for Drinking & Customary Behavior.

Journal ofStudies on Alcohol, Volume 45, #4, July 1992, pp. 321-325. Jones-Saumty, Deborah, Psychological Factors of familialAlcoholism in American Indians & Caucasians. Journalof Clinical Psychology, Volume 39, #5 September 1989,pp.

783-790. Merikangas, Kathleen R. , Depressives with SecondaryAlcoholism: Psychiatric Disorders in Offspring. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Volume 46, #3 May 1994,pp.

193-204. Wilks, Jeffery & V. J. Callan, Similarity of UniversityStudents & Their Parents Attitudes Toward Alcohol. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Volume 45, #4 July 1997,pp.

326-333.

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Effects of Parental Alcoholism on Children Essay
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The Effects of Parental Alcoholism on ChildrenUntil rather recently, the impact of alcoholism wasmeasured by its effect on the alcoholic, by days lost fromwork and highway fatalities. New research, however, hastended to concentrate on the impact of alcoholism on thefamily, especially the children of alcoholics. Numerousstudies have reported on the familial transmission ofalcoholism. It has been shown that alcoholics have morebiological relatives with an alcohol problem than dononalcoholic.
2021-07-13 03:27:22
Effects of Parental Alcoholism on Children Essay
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