According to Johnson (2001), alcoholism is a serious problem which involves the inefficiency to control one’s drinking. Alcoholism plays a large role when it comes to the family dynamic, specifically children. Its effects can negatively impact family members causing serious, long-term problems for all members involved. In this paper, I will provide a review of literature by using peer-reviewed articles to discuss the effects of alcoholism and its influence on children within the family dynamic. I will discuss and analyze specific effects within the family structure which includes but is not limited to sexual abuse, poor academic performance, parental unavailability, and problematic family environments.
Literature ReviewIn 2016, Mangueria et al. published a peer-reviewed article titled “Clinical validation of the nursing diagnosis of dysfunctional family processes related to alcoholism” discussing the effects of alcoholism within a family dynamic. The case study focused on sampling over one hundred alcoholics in treatment during 2013. By studying the individuals, findings concluded that there was validity for concern when it came to family dysfunction.
Among the highest indicators which greatly weighed on children were sexual abuse, problems with academia, and manipulation. Many of the children suffered from anxiety, low self-esteem, and even anger. Another concerning topic for families with children dealing with alcoholism is parental unavailability. Johnson (2001) wrote an article detailing the various dimension of functioning in both non-alcoholic and alcoholic families. For his study, he looked at over eight hundred students in college asking various questions which included their demographics as well as their experience with the status of parental and grandparent alcoholism. His study showed alarming results which directed towards children that were raised in families with alcoholics had low family functions. He also found that these same children had an increased likelihood to have experienced traumatic events when compared to families without alcoholics. Often times children of alcoholics are characterized as at-risk due to the dysfunction within their family dynamic.
In 2000, Menees et al published an article discussing specifics on how children’s lives are disrupted due to alcoholism. A study was conducted to show how dysfunction due to an alcoholic parent caused children issues with psychosocial development. The study was compared to children who had dealt with other stressors including the death of a parent, divorce, and even major illness. Surprisingly, children who had an alcoholic parent experienced stressors which, “recall disturbed family relations no more commonly than students specifically exposed to other family stressors such as parental divorce, death, or major illness, and no more common than those who reported no family stressors.” Upon further insight, Menees et al concluded that children with an alcoholic parent had an even higher increase in stressors when paired with extending trauma such as divorce and unemployment.Conclusion In conclusion, the peer-reviewed articles concluded parental alcoholism has a detrimental effect on various dimensions of the family functioning including overall health and competence. More specifically, alcoholic families seem to have higher levels of overt unresolved conflict, fighting, blaming, and arguing. This includes lower levels of togetherness and family closeness as well as lower levels of physical and verbal expressions of positive feelings, warmth, and caring between family members and non alcoholic families.
Based on my experiences, abuse, divorce, and family effects are just amongst the many problems that arise as a result of how alcohol abuse can affect the family life. The peer-reviewed articles presented in this literature review was insightful with staggering results focused on the negative impact children experience. As noted by all the authors of the peer-reviewed articles, the effects of alcoholism can cause a powerful infraction against family functioning.