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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 124-127

Psychological impact of adult alcoholism on spouses and children

Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Missions Medical College, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Darpan Kaur
8/187, M.H.B., Om-Lamba Society, Opposite Bhakti-Dham Mandir, Sion-Chunabhatti, Mumbai - 400 022, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-2870.126309

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Chronic alcoholism can have an adverse psychological impact on the family involved in caregiving and coping with the alcoholic. This article attempts to review and discuss relevant literature pertaining to the overall psychological impact of adult alcoholism on spouses and children. A literature search on various search engines like Pubmed, Psychinfo, OmniMedicalSearch, and WebMD was done using search words such as "psychological impact", "alcoholism", "family" "spouse", "parents," and "children". The articles perceived to be relevant have been reviewed and discussed. The literature search revealed significant problems in coping among family members. It was found that there exists a huge burden on the immediate family members of the chronic alcoholic. Recent studies have found high levels of psychological stress and depressive symptoms in spouses of alcoholics. Alcohol use has also been significantly linked to aggressive behaviors and intimate partner violence. Parentification and emotional caretaking were found in the children of chronic alcoholics. This can have a major impact on the psychological development of these children. Recent studies have shown that the offsprings of alcoholics are at a high risk for Conduct Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Substance Dependence. Marital and Family therapy may have a role in therapeutic as well as preventive care approaches in alcoholism.

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