Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 127–146 | Cite as

Paternal Alcohol Abuse: Relationship Between Child Adjustment, Parental Characteristics, and Family Functioning

  • Bente Storm Mowatt HauglandEmail author


This study examines possible risk factors associated with child adjustment in a sample of children with alcohol abusing fathers in Norway (N = 37). Factors included are socio-economic status, severity of the fathers' alcohol abuse, parental psychological problems, and family functioning. Children of alcohol abusing fathers were found to have more adjustment problems assessed by CBCL compared to a general population sample. The findings further suggest that child adjustment in families with paternal alcohol abuse is the result of an accumulation of risk factors rather than the effects of the paternal alcohol abuse alone. Both general environmental risk factors (psychological problems in the fathers, family climate, family health and conflicts) and environmental factors related to the parental alcohol abuse (severity of the alcohol abuse, the child's level of exposure to the alcohol abuse, changes in routines and rituals due to drinking) were related to child adjustment. The results indicate the need to obtain both parents' assessments of child adjustment, as the fathers' assessment was associated with different risk factors compared to the mothers'.

children of alcoholics child adjustment family functioning parental psychological problems 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of Bergen, Christiesgate 12BergenNorway

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