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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)