Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Dr. Jim Lowe
Dr. John Geisler
Dr. Robert Betz
This study was designed to examine issues of interpersonal behavior among adult children of alcoholics when compared to adult children of non-alcoholics by assessing the functioning level of family of origin relationships. Undergraduate students from a midwestern university were divided into four groups based on their scores on the Children of Alcoholics Screening Test (CAST) by Jones (1981) and the Index of Family Relations (IFR) by Hudson (1982). The sample consisted of 302 subjects between the ages of 18 and 50 who volunteered to participate in a study which examined interpersonal behavior as measured by the Interpersonal Dependency Inventory (IDI). Subjects' scores on each questionnaire were analyzed using a series of one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) in which groups were compared for mean differences in interpersonal behavior.
Sixteen hypotheses were tested for significance in interpersonal differences as measured by the IDI subscales of emotional reliance on others, lack of self-confidence, assertion of autonomy, and dependency.
Analyses indicated that adult children from dysfunctioning family relationships and adult children from non-dysfunctional family relationships in non-alcoholic homes had significant differences at the .05 level of confidence. No significant differences were found between adult children of alcoholics and adult children of non-alcoholics who came from dysfunctional family relationships. Also, no significant differences were found between adult children of alcoholics and adult children of non-alcoholics who came from non-dysfunctional family relationships. These findings suggest that differences in adult interpersonal behavior are a function of family of origin relationships rather than from family alcoholism. It was suggested that adult children o f alcoholics are more similiar to a normal population than they are dissimiliar depending on the family of origin relationships. Further research is suggested to examine the quality of early family relationships that occur for adult children of alcoholics and adult children of non-alcoholics when exploring differences in interpersonal behavior.
Beaufait, Dennis Michael, "Interpersonal Issues of Dependency in Adult Children from Dysfunctional Relationships" (1992). Dissertations. 1916.