Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Shared Experiences and Individual Contexts: A Grounded Theory Approach for the Continuing Development of Resiliency in Adult Children of Alcoholics
by Phillips, Leah J., Psy.D., Alliant International University, 2020, 203; 28262198
Abstract (Summary)

Alcohol use and influence of alcoholism is believed to extend beyond the family of origin and to be transgenerational; i.e. its presence existing throughout generations of families. It is estimated that one in every five American adults have lived with an alcohol dependent adult while growing up. Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOAs), or Children of Alcoholics (COAs), are individuals who were raised in a family where alcoholism or other family dysfunctions were present. Adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) are statistically shown to be an at-risk population, due to the increased risk of developing an alcohol or substance use disorder themselves and long-term effects from the risk laden environment. There has been a shift of focus from risk to resiliency in more current literature and knowledge of the interplay of multi-stressors can aid in the understanding of risk and resiliency factors of ACOAs.

This Grounded Theory study recruited 15 adult participants who identified as having been raised by at least one alcohol dependent parent, having at least one child, and having no current substance use issues themselves. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore resiliency amongst ACOA parents and the perceptions of parenting as ACOA parents. The results yielded themes such as discovery of a different normal, drawing on strengths and opportunities, looking back with compassion, and setting boundaries as a means of self-care. A proposed model was generated to explain the development and sustainment of resiliency of ACOA parents. The findings from this study help to bridge the gap in literature from resiliency in childhood to resiliency in adulthood, including how resiliency is sustained and how it may change in different phases of life. As well as provide more current representation of ACOAs and generational patterns.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Green, Julii M.
Commitee: Deilgat, Jaclyn D., Khademi, Mojgan , Sirikantraporn, Skultip Jill
School: Alliant International University
Department: San Diego, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Adult children of alcoholics, Alcohol use disorder, Alcoholism, Grounded theory, Resilience
Publication Number: 28262198
ISBN: 9798557054218
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