Mediators and Moderators of Parental Alcoholism Effects on Offspring Self-Esteem

S. Rangarajan
2008 Alcohol and Alcoholism  
Aims: The goal of the proposed study was fourfold: (i) to examine the effects of parental alcoholism on adult offspring's self-esteem; (ii) to identify and test possible mediators and moderators of parental alcoholism effects on the self-esteem of adult offspring; (iii) to examine the utility and relevance of attachment theory (Bowlby J. (1969) Attachment and Loss: Vol. 1. Attachment. New York: Basic Books) in explaining parental alcoholism effects on self-esteem and (iv) to address some of the
more » ... address some of the methodological limitations identified in past research on adult children of alcoholics (ACOA). Methods: Participants (N = 515) completed retrospective reports of parental alcoholism, family stressors, family communication patterns, parental attachment and a current measure of self-esteem. Results: The results showed support for the detrimental effects of parental alcoholism on offspring self-esteem and offered partial support for family stressors as a mediator of parental alcoholism effects on parental attachment and parental attachment as a mediator of parental alcoholism effects on offspring self-esteem, respectively. Finally, support was found for family communication patterns as a moderator of the effects of family stressors on attachment. Conclusions: The study findings offer preliminary support for the utility of attachment theory in explicating parental alcoholism effects on the self-esteem of adult offspring. Findings from the present study make salient the need to consider factors beyond the identification of parental alcohol abuse when explicating individual differences in offspring self-esteem in adulthood. The identification of protective and risk factors can contribute to the development of optimal intervention strategies to help ACOAs better than simply the knowledge of family drinking patterns.
doi:10.1093/alcalc/agn034 pmid:18467489 fatcat:vruhxkdi3vekxdbzaxr2hgizvu