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Adolescent Children of Alcoholics on Disclosure, Support, and Assessment of Trustworthy Adults

Abstract

The aim of this study is to describe adolescent children of alcoholics’ (COA) perspectives on disclosure and support. COA reported assessing the trustworthiness of adults before disclosing their home situation. Before disclosure they may have raised their own level of consciousness, told a peer, told an adult stranger, or in-directly communicated with an adult. These findings are the result of interviews with 27 adolescents attending support groups for COA in Sweden. Adults, who ask questions, listen carefully and cooperate with the child/adolescent, and who are knowledgeable about families with alcohol problems, are considered as supportive and trustworthy. The adolescents reported psychological, communicative, environmental, and generational aspects of the disclosure process.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are very grateful to the adolescents who so willingly participated in this study. The School of Health and Medical Sciences, and Stiftelsen Solstickan, Swedish Match, supported the study.

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Correspondence to Agneta Tinnfält.

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Tinnfält, A., Eriksson, C. & Brunnberg, E. Adolescent Children of Alcoholics on Disclosure, Support, and Assessment of Trustworthy Adults. Child Adolesc Soc Work J 28, 133–151 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10560-011-0225-1

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Keywords

  • Bronfenbrenner
  • Dialogue
  • Identification
  • Narrative
  • Process