Characterizing the Life Stressors of Children of Alcoholic Parents

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Abstract

The current study examined differences between children of alcoholic (COAs) and nonalcoholic parents in their experience of negative life events across 3 longitudinal studies together spanning the first 3 decades of life. The authors posited that COAs would differ from their peers in the life domains in which they are vulnerable to stressors, in the recurrence of stressors, and in the severity of stressors. Scale- and item-level analyses of adjusted odds ratios based on stressors across 7 life domains showed that COAs consistently reported greater risk for stressors in the family domain. COAs were also more likely to experience stressors repetitively and to rate their stressors as more severe (in adulthood). Implications for prevention and intervention programs targeting this risk group are discussed.

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