Magazine article USA TODAY

Alcoholics' Kids Face Behavior Problems

Magazine article USA TODAY

Alcoholics' Kids Face Behavior Problems

Article excerpt

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have found that children with at least one alcoholic parent are at increased risk for oppositional and conduct disorders. These may contribute to drug and alcohol abuse and other associated conditions in adulthood. If both parents are alcoholic, the incidence of these behavior disorders is even higher.

Oppositional and conduct disorders can evolve into major problems as these youngsters grow into adulthood. "Oppositional disorder refers to a negative, stubborn sort of child who won't do anything you want him to do," explains Wendy Reich, research assistant professor of child psychiatry. "He or she won't cooperate or clean up after themselves, or be polite."

Conduct disorder children have more serious worries, including truancy, shoplifting, and drug and alcohol abuse. About half of the kids diagnosed with conduct disorder will grow out of it, but the other half probably will develop serious psychological and psychiatric conditions in adulthood, from alcoholism to anti-social personality.

Alcoholism has a genetic component, as do many illnesses. …

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