Adult Children of Alcoholics

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Adult Children of Alcoholics

Dear Mr.

Please accept the following as the final draft of my research project on Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs).  A significant amount of information on this topic has been generated over the last twenty years.  According to the literature, the research is still in its infancy, and there is more work to be completed.  Throughout the research and writing process, I gained a good deal of insight and knowledge regarding ACOAs and have presented information in my research paper on the following topics:

  1. Alcoholism and alcohol consumption in the United States
  2. Characteristics of ACOAs
  3. Family relationships in alcoholic families
  4. Symptoms of ACOAs
  5. Treatment for ACOAs

In conducting my research for this project, I found several valuable books on ACOAs.  I supplemented the information from the books with various journal articles and internet resources. By the end of the research process, I realized I had gathered more information than I could realistically use for this project.

I would like to thank you for your support and encouragement throughout this process.  I appreciated the opportunity to build up to the final project by working through the smaller projects you assigned throughout the semester.  Over the course of the semester, I feel I have been able to carefully evaluate sources of information and construct a thorough report on ACOAs.  Please feel free to contact me at (302) 555-5555 if you have any questions regarding my research project.

Sincerely

Table of Contents

Letter of Transmittal……………………………………………………………………………………………… ii

List of Figures……………………………………………………………………………………………………… iv

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. v

Alcoholism…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1

Alcohol Consumption in the United States……………………………………………………. 1

Definition of Alcoholism…………………………………………………………………………….. 1

Adult Children of Alcoholics…………………………………………………………………………………. 2

Definition………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

History of the ACOA Movement…………………………………………………………………. 3

Characteristics of ACOAs…………………………………………………………………………… 4

Family Relationships……………………………………………………………………………………………… 6

Family Systems………………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

Family Roles……………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

Symptoms……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8

Depression………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

Anxiety…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

Alcoholism………………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

Eating Disorders………………………………………………………………………………………. 11

Treatment…………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11

Self-Help Groups……………………………………………………………………………………… 12

Individual/Group Therapy…………………………………………………………………………. 13

Future Prospects…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 14

References…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15

Appendix…………………………………………………………………………………16

Abstract

Alcoholism is a family disease that affects every member of the family.  Within alcoholic family systems, children often take on various roles and characteristics that allow them to survive while maintaining the dysfunction in the family.  Without intervention or treatment, children often carry these negative roles and characteristics into adulthood, only to find that they no longer provide the same benefit they did in childhood.  As a result, many adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) develop symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, or they may develop compulsive behaviors such as alcoholism and eating disorders.  Fortunately, therapy has proved very successful at helping ACOAs who are trying to heal themselves and move on with their adult lives.

Adult Children of Alcoholics

 

Alcoholism

Alcohol consumption in the United States

Throughout history, alcohol has played a major role in the lives of Americans.  While the amount of alcohol consumed has increased and decreased over time, it has remained a constant in society.  Even the enactment of Prohibition in the early 1900s failed to eradicate alcohol consumption completely.  After Prohibition was repealed in the 1930s, alcohol consumption increased rapidly from 1935 to 1945.  Another substantial increase in alcohol use was experienced in the 1970s, which was accompanied by a decrease in the minimum legal drinking age (Rhoden & Robinson, 2009, p. 42).  According to Rhoden & Robinson (2009), a slight reversal of alcohol consumption trends was witnessed in the early 1980s, along with the return of the minimum legal drinking age to twenty-one (p. 45).  More recently, The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence reported that “from 2006-2007, annual per capita consumption of alcohol in the US decreased 0.5 percent to 2.18 gallons; per capita consumption in 2007[was] second only to 1995 in being the lowest in 35 years” (Alcoholism, 2008, Statistics section, para. 1).

Definition of alcoholism

In American culture, drinking alcohol in moderation is a socially acceptable way to celebrate, relax and unwind.  The alcoholic beverage industry and the media support this notion through advertising that glamorizes alcohol consumption.  Additionally, for many Americans, drinking is tied to family traditions.  Alcohol is often used during holiday celebrations and to commemorate religious occasions.  Unfortunately, attention is not always given to the harmful effects alcohol can have on a person.  Due to various biological and environmental factors, many people do not enjoy alcohol in moderation.  A report from the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence suggests that while two-thir.............


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