Date of Award

7-1-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

First Advisor

Professor Naomi T. Ward

Abstract

This comparative analysis examined the profile of adolescents of alcoholic parents as an identifiable group with special needs as compared to adolescents of non-alcoholic parents. The Children of Alcoholics Screen Test (C.A.S.T.), a thirty item inventory questionnaire that measured children's feelings, attitudes, perceptions, and experiences related to their parent's drinking behavior, was administered to two groups of children ages 12-17. One group was composed of adolescents admitted into a substance abuse program, who self-reported that they were adolescents of alcoholic parents. A comparison group was randomly selected from "typical" classroom settings with adolescents who had not been previously identified as adolescents of alcoholics. It was hypothesized that the children of alcoholic parents would score significantly higher on the C.A.S.T. than the comparison groups.

The major findings of this study revealed adolescents from both groups were fearful that probiem drinking would result in divorce of their parents. Implications of these findings suggest an increased awareness and early identification of adolescents of alcoholics would result in more accurate diagnosis in the school and clinical settings. Services could then be effectively designed to meet the needs of these special adolescents. If not, the effects of this disease could at some time effect a much larger population.

By researching the impact that parental alcoholism has on adolescents, prevention strategies can be instituted to identify adolescents of alcoholics early and maximize their changes for living fruitful and productive adult lives.

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