Parental Problem Drinking and Children’s Adjustment: Attachment and Family Functioning

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Children's perceived attachments with parents, and family cohesion and adaptability were examined as predictors, mediators, and moderators in the parental problem drinking-child outcomes link. A total of 216 6- to 12-year-olds (110 boys, 106 girls) participated. Data were obtained from children and their mothers, fathers, and teachers. A higher level of family cohesion and adaptability functioned as (a) a robust protective factor against adjustment and cognitive difficulties otherwise associated with problem drinking and (b) a mediator of adjustment problems. Children's perceptions of attachments to mothers and fathers were consistent predictors of behavioral, social, and cognitive problems and further moderated relations between problem drinking and child functioning. The results support that child-parent and family functioning variables act as either pathways and/or vulnerability and protective factors for children exposed to a high-risk environment.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare
  • Fathers/Partners
  • Parenting
  • Trauma