First Advisor

Jana L. Meinhold

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Child and Family Studies and University Honors


Child and Family Studies


Children of alcoholics -- Psychology, Alcoholics -- Family relationships




Parental alcoholism and its effects on children has been a problem widely researched for years. This thesis seeks to find the patterns and roles that are established for children living with parental alcoholism and if/why these patterns are maintained into the individual's adulthood. In doing so, parental alcoholism and its effects on children and adult children will be examined through the lenses of symbolic interactionism and family systems theory. Several concepts that affect roles and patterns are discussed, some of the more prominent being: a) symbols, b) circular causality c) feedback loops, and d) roles. Through an in depth theoretical analysis, the implications that these findings have on families and those working with families in a professional setting are discussed.


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