Date of Conferral
Dr. William Disch
Children who grow up in an environment where at least 1 parent is an alcoholic can experience behavioral and emotional problems that continue into adulthood. A critical literature gap concerning the relationship between attachment and adult child of an alcoholic (ACOA) status, as well as personal alcohol abuse and levels of hope, was identified. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of the influence of having alcoholic parents on personal alcohol abuse, attachment, and hope among ACOAs. Informed by attachment theory, this cross-sectional study compared attachment among ACOAs and non-ACOAs and the impact of attachment on personal alcohol abuse and hope. A convenience sample of 155 adults was recruited from a self-administered online survey. Data were analyzed by independent group t tests, Pearson correlations, and multiple regressions. Significant differences between ACOAs and non-ACOAs were found on personal alcohol abuse, attachment to mother and father figures and anxious attachment to significant other, and hope. ACOA status was significantly correlated with attachment to mother, father, and significant others and personal alcohol abuse, and negatively correlated with hope. Additionally, ACOA status and hope were significant predictors of attachment with mothers; hope was a predictor of attachment with fathers and significant others; and ACOA status was a predictor of anxious attachment with fathers and significant others. This study may aid professionals in tailoring the treatment of ACOAs by addressing underlying negative experiences related to attachment, personal alcohol abuse, and hope, which ACOAs may be reluctant to disclose, thus allowing these individuals to become healthier members of society.