Substance Use and Symptomatology Among Adolescent Children of Alcoholics

Laurie Chassin, Fred Rogosch, Manuel Barrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

404 Scopus citations


This study assessed the magnitude and specificity of parental alcoholism as a risk factor for internalizing symptomatology, externalizing symptomatology, and alcohol and drug use in adolescence. We evaluated parents' and children's reports of symptomatology and children's reports of alcohol and drug use in a community sample of 454 adolescents. The results showed that parental alcoholism was a moderate to strong risk factor, with stronger risk associated with recent (rather than remitted) parental alcoholism. Multivariate analyses showed that the specificity of risk varied with the outcome measure. In predicting externalizing symptomatology, the risk associated with parental alcoholism was mediated by co-occurring parental psychopathology and environmental stress. However, in predicting alcohol use, the father's alcoholism was a specific risk factor above and beyond the more generalized effects of stress and family disruption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-463
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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