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Ind Psychiatry J. 2018 Jul-Dec;27(2):226-230. doi: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_57_17.

Psychiatric morbidity in children of alcoholic parents.

Author information

Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha, Maharashtra, India.
Department of Psychiatry, D.Y. Patil University, Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India.
Consultant Psychiatrist, Gokuldas Hospital, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India.



Children of alcoholics (COAs) are children who have grown up in families in which either one or both parents are alcoholic. The interplay of several factors such as environmental, cognitive, and genetic vulnerability has been linked to the psychopathology among COAs.


To assess psychiatric morbidity in COAs and to compare these children with the children of nonalcoholic parents.

Setting and Design:

This cross-sectional study was conducted on children of outpatients and inpatients of a tertiary health-care center in Central India, for 18 months.

Subjects and Methods:

A total of 100 children, fifty children of alcoholic parents and fifty children of nonalcoholic parents between the age groups of 4 and 14 years, were assessed using childhood psychopathology measurement schedule.

Statistical Analysis Used:

Statistical analysis was done by using descriptive and inferential statistics using Chi-square test and Student's unpaired t-test. SPSS version 22.0, were used for statistical analysis, and P < 0.05 was considered as level of significance.


Most of the children were in the age group of 8-11 years. Depression and anxiety were found to be statistically significant (P < 0.05) in COAs than in children of nonalcoholics. Whereas, there was no difference (P > 0.05) for low intelligence and behavioral problems, conduct disorder, psychotic symptoms, special symptoms, physical illness, emotional problems, and somatization.


Thus, there is a high need to address the stress to children of persons with substance abuse. Early detection of psychiatric morbidities in such children and appropriate intervention can produce beneficial changes in such children.


Alcohol dependence; children; mental disorders

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