City Research Online

What are the effects of Parental Problem Drinking?

Iacovou, J. (2011). What are the effects of Parental Problem Drinking?. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The study explores the life experiences of seven adult children of problem drinkers (ACOPDs). Semi-structured interviews were conducted covering four main areas:
experiences as a child; experiences as an adult; impact on life; and coping mechanisms. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of the participants’ experiences,
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used. Five master themes were extracted from the data, namely: parent / child relationships; communication problems;
coping mechanisms; the road to recovery; and impact on the self. Each master theme also consisted of a number of interrelated subthemes. Of all the master themes, coping
mechanisms was by far the most prevalent with participants using numerous ways of dealing with parental problem drinking (PPD) such as avoidance, and trying to keep their parent’s drinking problem a secret from other people.

The findings indicated that whilst many within group difference existed in the sample of participants, such as cultural background and status of parental drinking, many
common themes still emerged. Moreover, the severity of PPD did not influence the findings to any great extent. A number of the participants’ problem drinking parents
(PDPs) drank to excess on a daily basis whereas for others consumption was far less, a maximum of three to four units per evening. To conclude, participants’ accounts indicated a preference towards informal over professional forms of support. This has important implications for the counselling psychology profession such as a need to improve and increase the services available to both children of problem drinkers (COPDs) and ACOPDs.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
Text - Accepted Version
Download (8MB) | Preview



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login