Past Issues

Parenting and Children of Alcoholics

Pao-Huan Chen, M.D.11,2 Susan Shur-Fen Gau, M.D., Ph.D.3 Ying-Yeh Chen, M.D., Sc.D.1,4

Objectives:Children of alcoholic individuals are vulnerable to risks of several negative outcomes including substance use, and depressive and anxiety disorders. There has been relatively little attention to the parenting styles of alcoholic parents in shaping their children’s psychopathology. In this review, we intended to highlight the family process and to examine how parenting factors infl uence the psychopathologic development of children of alcoholics (COAs). Method:We reviewed published articles on the topic of parenting and COAs. Results:The literature showed that alcoholic fathers are more likely to exhibit either authoritarian or non-involvement parenting styles, both of which are harmful to children. Alcoholic fathering is more problematic when the fathers have co-morbidities such as mental illness, or a stressful family situation. Adequate mothering relieves the impact of alcoholic fathering. On the other hand, the existing data are particularly limited without adequate information on the role of alcoholic mothering in negative outcomes of COAs. Conclusion:Although family therapy is a potential intervention to help improve alcoholic parenting, its effectiveness has rarely been examined. Given the increasing alcoholic population in Taiwan and the impact on their children, we suggest that research into this area is urgent and imperative.
Key Word parenting, alcoholics, children of alcoholics, risk factors
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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