Academic journal article Alcohol Research

Can Your Children Drive You to Drink?

Academic journal article Alcohol Research

Can Your Children Drive You to Drink?

Article excerpt

Stress and Parenting in Adults Interacting With Children With ADHD

Several publications in the psychological literature support the theory that children are a major source of stress for their parents. Not surprisingly, parents of children with behavior problems--particularly children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)--experience highly elevated levels of daily child-rearing stresses. Children with ADHD disregard parental requests, commands, and rules; fight with siblings; disturb neighbors; and have frequent negative encounters with schoolteachers and principals. Although many investigations have dealt with parenting stress caused by disruptive children, only a handful of studies have addressed the question of how parents cope with this stress. Those findings are presented, including a series of studies assessing parental distress and alcohol consumption among parents of normal children and ADHD children after the parents interacted with either normal- or deviant-behaving children. Those studies strongly support the assumption that the deviant child behavi ors that represent major chronic interpersonal stressors for parents of ADHD children are associated with increased parental alcohol consumption. Studies also have demonstrated that parenting hassles may result in increased alcohol consumption in parents of "normal" children. Given these findings, the stress associated with parenting and its influence on parental alcohol consumption should occupy a salient position among the variables that are examined in the study of stress and alcohol problems.KEY WORDS: psychological stress; AOD (alcohol or other drug) consumption; parent; child; psychological AODC (causes of AOD use, abuse, and dependence); attention deficit disorder; behavioral problem; student; parenting skills; parent child relations; literature review

The idea that children can cause stress in parents is an often-exploited scenario in cartoon pages. "Dennis the Menace" has tormented his parents and other adults for decades, and Calvin, the little boy in the cartoon series "Calvin and Hobbes," kept a record on his calendar of how often he drove his mother crazy. Similarly, in the noncartoon world, the question of whether children cause stress yields numerous raised hands in any group of parents. Indeed, a considerable number of publications in the psychological literature support the argument that children are a major source of stress for their parents (Crnic and Acevedo 1995).

Not surprisingly, parents of children with behavior problems--particularly children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)--experience highly elevated levels of daily child-rearing stresses (Abidin 1990; Mash and Johnston 1990). Children with ADHD disregard parental requests, commands, and rules; fight with siblings; disturb neighbors; and have frequent negative encounters with schoolteachers and principals.

Although many investigations have dealt with parenting stress caused by disruptive children, only a handful of studies have addressed the question of how parents cope with this stress. For example, if stress in general can precipitate alcohol consumption, it would not be surprising to discover that some parents might attempt to cope with their parenting stress and distress by drinking. This article first reviews the relationship between childhood behavior problems and subsequent adult drinking behavior, and then explores the effects of child behavior on parental drinking. The discussion includes a review of a series of studies assessing parental distress and alcohol consumption among parents of normal children and ADHD children after the parents interacted with either normal- or deviant-behaving children.

CHILDHOOD BEHAVIOR DISORDERS AND ADULT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

Children with ADHD have problems paying attention, controlling impulses, and modulating their activity level. Two other disruptive behavior disorders-- oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD)--overlap considerably with ADHD. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.