Childhood and adulthood influences on the adjustment of young-adults with and without parents with drinking problems

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Results are reported of an interview study of 216 young adults (16-35 years) of whom two-thirds had been brought up by at least one parent with a drinking problem. The paper focuses upon the possible determinants of two dimensions of adulthood adjustment: positive mental health versus demoralisation, and conformity versus deviance. Results are analysed separately for men and women using simple correlations, path analyses, and analyses of sub-groups with and without cohabiting partners and paid employment. The results support the expectation that proximal influences in the form of marital satisfaction, satisfaction with social life, and satisfaction with work or alternative activity (men only) are important for adulthood mental health. Childhood influences in the form of freedom from childhood emotional problems and harmony in the family of origin were related to positive mental health for women, and freedom from childhood conduct problems was related to conformity in adulthood for men. There was no support for the hypothesis that, overall, having had a parent with a drinking problem would be related to either demoralisation or deviance. Being in paid employment was modestly correlated with conformity in both sexes, and there was evidence that being in paid employment and having a cohabiting relationship compensated for one another in the prediction of men's conformity versus deviance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalAddiction Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


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