Alcoholic Parents: How Children Are Affected

ACEs such as neglect, abuse, and witnessing domestic violence can contribute to this vulnerability. Additionally, adult children of alcoholics may struggle with lower socioeconomic status and difficulties in forming and maintaining healthy relationships. The overarching aim of this scoping review is thus to assemble and map existing evidence from cohort studies on the consequences of parental alcohol use for children.

We sought studies that followed families or individuals of interest over a period of time, having at least two data collection points. Exposure data collection was required to precede outcome data collection in time, meaning studies where both the exposure and the outcome data were measured at the same time were excluded. Retrospective cohort studies and other types of observational studies were also excluded. We included studies published in English language peer‐reviewed journals from 1980 onwards. Hagströma and Forinder’s findings also revealed two major narrative positions.

Make a Difference: Talk to Your Child About Alcohol – Parents

The difference in the effects of the mother’s and father’s alcohol abuse was in accordance with previous research [23, 24]. According to a previous study using the same data, both parents’ alcohol abuse has even stronger effect on mental and behavioural disorders in children than when only one parent has alcohol abuse problems. This indicates that also father’s alcohol abuse has an independent effect regardless of mother’s alcohol abuse [25]. Some of the differences between the effects of maternal and paternal alcohol abuse may be explained by the fact that alcohol abusing fathers do not live with their children as often as do alcohol abusing mothers [25]. This accumulation of problems can be one explanation for the higher risk of mental and behavioural disorders in the children of alcohol abusing mothers compared with children of fathers with these problems. Our results thus emphasize the mother’s role in children’s well-being in our culture.

  • These consequences can manifest in various ways and have long-term effects on their behavior and coping strategies.
  • Third, exposure measures were often (44 of 99 studies) obtained in few and crude categories, which weakened the potential to address possible dose–response relationships.
  • Negative emotions, such as sadness, anger, embarrassment, shame, and frustration, are concealed to create a sense of denial.
  • Many alcoholic parents have erratic mood swings and become violent with their children while intoxicated.

As a result of all of this, many kids harbor resentment toward their addicted parent well into adulthood. Many alcoholic parents have erratic mood swings and become violent with their children while intoxicated. Whether the parents are physically or mentally abusive, kids will grow up wondering why the person who is supposed to love and nurture them is actually the how alcoholic parents affect their children person they fear the most. Sometimes, the child can even develop a form of PTSD called C-PTSD if the abuse happens repeatedly. There are several different signs and symptoms of PTSD and trauma exhibited by adult children of alcoholics. Similar to PTSD, any one symptom can be problematic and can have a negative impact on the quality of life for the individual.

What Positive Qualities Can Children of Alcoholics Develop?

By recognizing the impact of emotional suppression and low self-esteem, adult children of alcoholic parents can take steps towards healing and personal growth. It is crucial to prioritize self-care, seek professional help if needed, and surround themselves with a supportive network of individuals who understand their experiences. Through self-reflection and building resilience, it is possible to overcome these challenges and lead a fulfilling life. If you grew up with alcoholic parents and are coping with substance abuse or mental health conditions of your own, The Recovery Village is here to help.

how alcoholic parents affect their children