Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2023

Document Type

Research Paper


Whittier Scholars Program

First Advisor

Charles Hill


Studies assessed the magnitude and specificity of parental alcoholism as a risk factor for internalizing symptomatology, externalizing symptomatology, and alcohol and drug use in adolescence. The results show that alcoholism is a moderate risk factor. The outcome measure has a different risk specificity. The risk of alcoholism is caused by parental psychopathology and environmental stress. The father's alcoholism was a risk for alcohol use that was beyond the effects of stress and family turmoil. The children of problem drinkers are affected by externalities. When designing and financing addiction treatment programs, long-term consequences of alcohol misuse should be taken into account. Estimates of the costs of parental alcohol abuse that do not consider externalities are not capturing the full extent of the disease. There was strong support for the effects of parent alcoholism on substance use. The impact of parent alcoholism and alcohol related consequences on adolescent outcomes depends on the time of parents' impairment, according to the third in the series of studies. Our conclusions are supported by the strengths. The problem has consequences. The core mission of dealing with addiction and substance use problems requires us to better integrate children and families.