Two competing hypotheses concerning the mechanism of transmission of excessive substance use from one generation to the next are tested, using data from a study of 16- to 35-year-old offspring of problem-drinking parents. The 'positive influence' hypothesis predicts that the more positive has been the offspring's relationship with the problem-drinking parent during upbringing, the greater the risk of excessive drinking or drug taking in young adulthood. This hypothesis received support only for women with fathers with drinking problems. The 'relationship deficiency' hypothesis predicts that those offspring most at risk are those who have had the more negative relationships with parents. This hypothesis received some support in the case of men with mothers with drinking problems: this subgroup of offspring were more at risk if they reported having had poor relationships with their fathers. It is concluded that the environmental intergenerational transmission of problems of excessive substance use occurs via a variety of mechanisms which are likely to be of differential importance in different subgroups.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||British Journal of Medical Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1991|