Family cohesion, expressiveness and conflict in alcoholic families

KRISTEN L. BARRY*, MICHAEL F. FLEMING

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study estimated family cohesiveness, expressiveness, and conflict in a primary care sample of alcoholics and non–alcoholics with and without a family history of alcoholism. Subjects completed the NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule alcohol subscale, based on DSM–III criteria, and a family environment scale. Alcoholics with a family history of alcoholism (Alc + FH+) reported significantly less cohesion and expressiveness, and more conflict in their present families than did either non–alcoholics with a family history of alcoholism (Alc − FH +) or non–alcoholics with no family history of alcoholism (Alc − FH −). Non‐alcoholics who grew up in alcoholic families (Alc − FH +) reported present family relationships similar to non–alcoholics with no family history of alcoholism (Alc − FH −). Results suggest a family history of alcoholism alone was not associated with differences in perceptions of present family relationships. The findings of this study raise questions about the general perception that individuals who grew up in alcoholic families experience more family dysfunction in adulthood. The presence of two factors together–family history and alcohol problems in the subject–produced the perception of family dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Addiction
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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