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Alcohol Health Res World. 1997;21(3):204-9.

Parenting influences on the development of alcohol abuse and dependence.

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  • 1Palo Alto Veterans Administration Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, USA.


Both alcohol-specific and non-alcohol-specific parenting influences affect the development of alcohol abuse and dependence in the offspring. Alcohol-specific influences (e.g., the modeling of parental drinking behavior, the development of alcohol expectancies, and certain aspects of the parent-child relationship) are particularly relevant to the development of alcohol abuse and dependence in children of alcoholics. In contrast, non-alcohol-specific influences generally promote deviant behavior, including alcohol problems, in the offspring and affect children of alcoholics and nonalcoholics equally. These influences, which include inadequate parenting and other parent-child interaction patterns that promote aggressive, antisocial behavior in children, increase the offspring's risk of an alcoholism subtype associated with antisocial personality disorder. A different set of non-alcohol-specific family influences may contribute to an alcoholism subtype that emerges after the onset of depression.

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