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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1997 Oct;25(5):413-24.

Effects of deviant child behavior on parental distress and alcohol consumption in laboratory interactions.

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania, USA.


Levels of adult distress and ad lib alcohol consumption following interactions with child confederates were investigated in parents of children with no diagnosable psychiatric disorders. Sixty parents (20 married couples and 20 single mothers) interacted with boys trained to enact behaviors characteristic of either normal children or "deviant" children with externalizing behavior disorders--attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (CD), and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Relative to the normal child role, interactions with deviant confederates were rated as significantly more unpleasant, resulted in feelings of role inadequacy, and produced significantly more anxiety, depression, and hostility. After the interactions, parents were given the opportunity to drink as much of their preferred alcoholic beverage as they desired while anticipating a second interaction with the same child. The participants consumed more alcohol following exposure to deviant as opposed to normal confederates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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