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Children of men with alcohol dependence: Psychopathology, neurodevelopment and family environment

Author(s): Raman Vijaya | Prasad Suveera | Appaya M

Journal: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
ISSN 0019-5545

Volume: 52;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 360;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Alcohol dependent fathers | children | family environment | neurodevelopment | psychopathology

Background: Children of people with alcohol dependence (COAs) are at high risk for behavioral and cognitive problems. Aim: Aim of this study was to compare the nature and extent of these problems in children of men with and without alcohol dependence. Materials and Methods: 32 children (17 in study group and 15 controls) were evaluated for psychopathology, neurodevelopment, cognitive functioning and family environment. Tools used were: Socio-demographic data sheet, Malin′s Intelligence Scale for Indian Children (MISIC), Child Behavior Checklist, Trail Making Test, Neurodevelopment Scale and the Family Environment Scale. Results: Children of men with alcohol dependence had higher externalizing than internalizing scores. Children of alcohol-dependent fathers had higher scores on the neurodevelopment scale and lower scores on the performance scale of the MISIC than the children in control group. These children also made more errors on the Trail Making Test. The family environment of COAs was characterized by lack of independence for its members, greater perceived control and lack of adequate cultural and intellectual activities. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that children of men with alcohol dependence have difficulties with frontal lobe functions and neurodevelopmental tasks. There are also difficulties in the family, which are related to alcohol consumption by the father.
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