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School-Aged Children of Fathers with Substance Use Disorder: Are They a High Risk Population?

NCJ Number
Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education Volume: 52 Issue: 2 Dated: August 2008 Pages: 9-30
Neta Peleg-Oren Ph.D.; Giora Rahav Ph.D.; Meir Teichman Ph.D.
Date Published
August 2008
23 pages
This article examines the relationship of parental substance abuse and increased risk of psychological issues for their offspring in Israel.
The article found that the only significant difference was that an insecure-avoidant attachment style was more prevalent among children of fathers with substance abuse disorder (SUD) than children with no parental history of SUD. This difference in insecure-avoidant attachment style was said to possibly be an indication that, even though there were no significant emotional signs yet, children of fathers with SUD were a high-risk population in need of a preventive program. This study focused on an examination of the association between parental substance use and the increased risk among school-age children to developing psychosocial problems. The following variables were assessed by four self-report questionnaires administered to the children: attachment style, family resources, and emotional distress. It was noted that self-reporting scales presented a limitation, particularly with misrepresentation among children due to social desirability. Also noted were the small sample size and the possibility that these children did not represent the general population of children of fathers with SUD. Data were collected from 148 children aged 8-11 from urban areas in Israel, 72 children who had fathers with SUD and 76 children of fathers without. The fathers of the children in the study group were recruited from various outpatient rehabilitation centers in Israel. Tables, references