Disaggregating the distal, proximal, and time-varying effects of parent alcoholism on children's internalizing symptoms

A. M. Hussong, L. Cai, P. J. Curran, D. B. Flora, Laurie Chassin, R. A. Zucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

We tested whether children show greater internalizing symptoms when their parents are actively abusing alcohol. In an integrative data analysis, we combined observations over ages 2 through 17 from two longitudinal studies of children of alcoholic parents and matched controls recruited from the community. Using a mixed modeling approach, we tested whether children showed elevated mother- and child-reported internalizing symptoms (a) at the same time that parents showed alcohol-related consequences (time-varying effects), (b) if parents showed greater alcohol-related consequences during the study period (proximal effects), and (c) if parents had a lifetime diagnosis of alcoholism that predated the study period (distal effects). No support for time-varying effects was found; proximal effects of mothers' alcohol-related consequences on child-reported internalizing symptoms were found and distal effects of mother and father alcoholism predicted greater internalizing symptoms among children of alcoholic parents. Implications for the time-embedded relations between parent alcoholism and children's internalizing symptoms are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-346
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2008

Keywords

  • Integrative data analysis
  • Intergenerational transmission
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Parent alcoholism
  • Time-varying effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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