Dissertation Abstract

Resilient Reintegration Of Adult Children Of Perceived Alcoholic Parents.

Publication Number:  AT9619322
Author:  Walker, Robert
School:  The University Of Utah
Date:  1996
Pages:  222
Subject:  Patient Care

This study hypothesized and tested, using structural equation modeling, the relationships of precursors of resilience in adult children of alcoholic parents. This resilience model of adult children of alcoholic parents examined the relationships between Envirosocial Risk Factors and Envirosocial Protective Factors; an individual's spiritual, mental, and physical competencies; and resilience in an 876-subject convenience sample of 414 adult children of alcoholic parents and 462 adult children of nonalcoholic parents from a western U.S. university.

These individuals responded to a 402-item resilience test battery consisting of 32 scales that operationalized hypothesized six latent cluster variables. The hypothesized six-factor model collapsed into a four-factor model of Envirosocial Risk Factors and Envirosocial Protective Factors, Spirit and Mind, Body, and Resilient Reintegration and was confirmed with both samples. Even though the pathways to resilience, as defined by the final structural models, were almost identical for the two samples, a multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed significant differences in 41% of the 32 variables measured for the model. The adult children of alcoholic parents reported that significantly more family risk factors still existed for them, as well as less satisfactory marital relationships, less school attachment and commitment, less creativity, less religiosity, and more risky health practices.

Despite these more extensive envirosocial risks, adult children of alcoholic parents reported greater resilience, as measured by significantly greater life satisfaction, as well as a nonsignificant trend towards greater self-esteem and self-efficacy. Possibly being a resilient survivor of a difficult family environment who has attended college or who has a professional career leads to increased personal pride and satisfaction. Gender differences were found in 38% of the measured variables. Implications for future research and prevention programs for adult children of alcoholic parents are discussed.

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