Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 32, Issue 5, pp 519–533 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Parental Alcoholism and Adolescent Psychopathology: A Systematic Examination of Parental Comorbid Psychopathology

  • Christine McCauley Ohannessian
  • Victor M. Hesselbrock
  • John Kramer
  • Samuel Kuperman
  • Kathleen K. Bucholz
  • Marc A. Schuckit
  • John I. NurnbergerJr.


The relationship between parental alcohol dependence (with and without comorbid psychopathology) and adolescent psychopathology was examined in a sample of 665 13–17 year-old adolescents and their parents. Results indicated that adolescents who had parents diagnosed with alcohol dependence only did not significantly differ from adolescents who had parents with no psychopathology in regard to any of the measures of psychological symptomatology (substance use, conduct disorder, and depression) or clinical diagnoses (alcohol dependence, marijuana dependence, conduct disorder, or depression) assessed. In contrast, adolescents who had parents diagnosed with alcohol dependence and either comorbid drug dependence or depression were more likely to exhibit higher levels of psychological symptomatology. In addition, adolescents who had parents diagnosed with alcohol dependence, depression, and drug dependence were most likely to exhibit psychological problems. These findings underscore the importance of considering parental comorbid psychopathology when examining the relationship between parental alcoholism and offspring adjustment.

comorbidity substance abuse conduct disorder depression COAs adolescence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine McCauley Ohannessian
    • 1
  • Victor M. Hesselbrock
    • 2
  • John Kramer
    • 3
  • Samuel Kuperman
    • 3
  • Kathleen K. Bucholz
    • 4
  • Marc A. Schuckit
    • 5
  • John I. NurnbergerJr.
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Individual & Family StudiesUniversity of DelawareNewark
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Connecticut Medical SchoolFarmington
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Iowa School of MedicineIowa City
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryWashington University School of MedicineSt. Louis
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California at San DiegoSan Diego
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryIndiana University School of MedicineIndianapolis

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