Psychosocial Functioning in Children of Alcoholic Fathers

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T. Jacob and reported that children of alcoholic fathers were comparable to children of depressed fathers in their psychosocial functioning. These results, however, were based on a relatively homogeneous sample. In the current study, previous results were extended by examining a sample of alcoholic fathers who were not screened for additional paternal psychiatric disorders or for major maternal psychopathology. Children in the unscreened and screened samples could not be distinguished in their functioning, and the majority of children of alcoholic fathers were functioning in the normal range of the Child Behavior Checklist. Given the heterogeneous adjustment in children of alcoholic fathers, the authors examined a range of factors that might protect against or exacerbate the risk associated with paternal alcoholism. Maternal depression and certain demographic characteristics were associated with poorer child functioning, particularly for male children.

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