Available evidence points to an increased likelihood of alcohol abuse in parents of problem children and to parental alcoholism as a predictor of later problem drinking in their offspring--particularly when the children present behavior management difficulties which themselves may be exacerbated by adults' drinking. The present proposal addresses the need for more controlled experimental research that will begin to establish cause and effect relations in this maze of correlations. Its focus is on adults who should vary systematically in their potential for drinking problems. All subjects will be recruited for """"""""studies of the effect of drinking on adult-child interactions"""""""" in which parents of both genders will interact with young (8-12 year old) male confederates rigorously trained to exhibit either normal or problem behavior on a series of unstructured, cooperative/competitive, and parallel activities tasks. In each study these interactions will be videotaped and later coded using the Response Class Matrix and other detailed observational analyses to obtain measures of adult response consistency, appropriateness, and harshness (negativity) as well as physical proximity and other behaviors. In Study 1, subjects (parents of normal children vs. parents of hyperactive or conduct disordered problem children) will be asked to drink alcoholic beverages in their """"""""usual"""""""" manner during a brief period immediately following the interaction, while anticipating a second encounter with the same child. Unobtrusive measures of the amount and rate of ad lib alcohol consumption will be employed along with direct assessment of physiological arousal and later measures of blood-alcohol levels (BAL) and subjective affect. Study 2 examines the effect of drinking (zero vs. 0.075% BAL) by parents of normal or problem children on subsequent interactions with a confederate child. Taken together these studies should elucidate: (1) how child behavior problems affect parental drinking, (2) how parental alcohol consumption affects parenting behavior, and (3) the potential function of drinking in coping with the stress of managing a problem child. This information has potentially important implications for alcohol abuse prevention, parent training interventions, and understanding the connections between alcohol problems and child behavior problems.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
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Alcohol Psychosocial Research Review Committee (ALCP)
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Florida State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
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Kashdan, Todd B; Adams, Leah M; Kleiman, Evan M et al. (2013) Stress-induced drinking in parents of boys with attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder: heterogeneous groups in an experimental study of adult-child interactions. J Abnorm Child Psychol 41:919-27
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