A longitudinal study of parenting as a protective factor for children of alcoholics

Patrick J. Curran, Laurie Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined whether maternal parenting behaviors might serve to protect, or buffer, a child from the potentially negative effects associated with an alcoholic father. Method: This hypothesis was tested with a community sample of adolescent children of alcoholics and a demographically matched comparison group of children with nonalcoholic parents (total N = 278, 55% male). Three dimensions of parenting were considered: monitoring of child behavior, consistency of discipline, and social support. These dimensions were used in both cross-sectional and longitudinal regression analyses to predict child externalizing symptomatology, alcohol use and drug use. Results: Cross-sectional results supported independent effects of parenting on child outcomes, but produced limited support for the buffering hypothesis. Longitudinal analyses revealed no prospective effects of parenting and no support for the buffering hypothesis. Conclusions: Findings suggest that both parents influence child development outcomes, but that the influence of one parent does not depend upon the influence of the other parent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-313
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'A longitudinal study of parenting as a protective factor for children of alcoholics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this