Children's Internalization of Rules of Conduct: Role of Parenting in Alcoholic Families


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Abstract

This study examined the association between fathers' alcoholism and children's internalization of rules of conduct at 2 to 3 years of age. The sample consisted of 220 families (102 without alcoholism, 118 with alcoholism). Results indicated that there was no direct association between fathers' alcoholism and children's internalization measured with a behavioral paradigm at age 3 years. However, the indirect association between fathers' alcoholism and children's behavioral internalization was significant through fathers' sensitivity during play interactions at age 2 years. Children of fathers with alcoholism were rated by their mothers as having lower internalized conduct over the 2- to 3-year period. This direct association was not mediated by parental sensitivity.

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