Skip to main content

Effects of parental alcohol misuse on children and adolescents: A literature review

26 July 2013


According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 71.8% of men and 59.6% of women had at least one drink in 2012, where a majority of men who drank were shown to indulge in binge drinking behavior (5+ drinks). Families with parental alcohol misuse are distinguished as having poorer family functioning, higher levels of unresolved conflict, a less cohesive perception of their environment, and lower levels of warmth and caring attitudes and behaviors. Alcohol misuse can lead to bad parenting and modeling behavior for children and adolescents. Depending on prenatal or postnatal exposure, the impact of parental alcohol misuse may change per individual. Misuse in families usually occurs in the context of many other complex issues The factors that influence the effect of parental alcohol misuse on offspring include demographics of both the child and the alcohol misusing parent, the length of parental alcohol misuse, family history with alcohol, resiliency of the child, levels of parental conflict, parent/child relations, and sibling and peer relationships. This paper focuses on behavioral, academic, cognitive, and emotional deficits that children of alcoholics (COAs) experience and the various intervention programs that can be utilized with this population to prevent further deterioration. Parental alcohol misuse’s effect on children and adolescents has been well researched. Areas of future research are identified.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
Main File
20 Mar 2020
333 kB