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J Pers Assess. 1994 Aug;63(1):117-34.

Personality characteristics of young adult offspring of substance abusers: a study highlighting methodological issues.

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  • 1Loyola University of Chicago.

Abstract

Our study sought to demonstrate the importance of attending to methodological issues in the study of personality characteristics of offspring of substance abusers (OSAs). A 4 x 2 factorial design, Parental Mental Health (no known psychological problems, substance abuse, other psychological problems, or dual diagnosis) x Exposure to Abuse/Neglect (present or absent), was used to examine depression proneness, neuroticism, alexithymia, self-esteem, self-concept, and locus of control in young adults. Results of this study demonstrated that in order to determine whether characteristics of OSAs are uniquely related to parental substance abuse, a psychiatric control group is needed. Also, the importance of separating the influences of other family environment variables (e.g., exposure to abuse/neglect) was demonstrated. None of the differences between groups in this study could be attributed to parental substance abuse per se; rather, the concomitants of substance abuse (i.e., exposure to abuse/neglect) were found to be more strongly related to poorer adjustment in OSAs. Finally, it was shown that the proportion of treatment-seeking subjects included in the sample affected the level of pathology observed. These results are discussed in relation to previous findings, and recommendations regarding methodology are made for future studies.

PMID:
7932026
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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