Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Children of alcoholics-Psychology, Children of alcoholics-Relations, Attachment behavior of children, Resilience (Personality trait) in children, Adult children of alcoholics-Psychology, Resilience, Attachment, Relationships, Mitigating factor


Children of alcoholics (COAs) experience risk factors including difficulties in school, behavioral issues, psychological distress, and the potential to become a substance abuser themselves. However, there is also research to support that not all COAs experience negative outcomes as a result of their alcoholic parent's influence. This qualitative study sought to explore whether positive attachments promote resilience in COAs from the perspective of COAs themselves. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine participants who were COAs and could identify a positive attachment relationship from the time period when they lived with their alcoholic parent(s). The major finding of this study was that, while having a positive, secure attachment was beneficial in promoting resilience, it was not enough to mitigate all potential negative consequences COAs experience. Implications of this finding for future research and social work practice are discussed.




iii, 67 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-60)