PARENTING AND INFANT DEVELOPMENT IN ALCOHOLIC FAMILIES

Project: Research project

Description

The proposed research is designed to examine parenting and infant development in alcoholic families and is guided by a developmental psychopathology framework. This perspective considers multiple risk and protective factors to predict both adaptive and maladaptive outcomes among high risk individuals. The major goals of this proposal are: 1) to evaluate potential differences between offspring of alcoholics and nonalcoholics with regard to attachment, problem behavior, and cognitive development; and 2) to determine the extent to which parental characteristics, infant temperament, and sociocontextual factors affect these early developmental outcomes, either directly or indirectly through parent-infant interactions. The protocol involves screening families recruited via newspaper ads with regard to sociodemographics, family structure, and alcohol use. The final sample will consist of 100 families of paternal alcoholics and 100 sociodemographically matched control families. Additional eligibility will be indicated: nonalcoholic mother, cohabiting biological parents, infant with no physical/mental disability, and mother as primary caregiver. Infant-mother-father assessments will be conducted when infants are 12, 18, and 24 months old. The procedures will include: (1) global ratings of parental affect and behavior towards infant during a structured and an unstructured interaction task; (2) the "Strange Situation" laboratory paradigm to evaluate the quality of infant attachment to parents; (3) the Child Behavior Checklist and a standard compliance paradigm to evaluate problem behavior in infants; (4) the Bayley Scales of Infant Development to assess cognitive and neuromotor development; and (5) the Receptive-Expressive Emergent Language scale. At each session, parents will complete questionnaires assessing risk and protective factors suggested by models of parenting, child development, and family factors influencing outcomes among offspring of alcoholics. Repeated measures ANOVAs and regression analyses will be used to determine whether offspring of alcoholics evince deficits in developmental outcomes. These analyses will be conducted to examine the extent to which potential deficits are directly or indirectly associated with parental characteristics/behavior, infant temperament, and sociocontextual factors such as marital conflict. Deficits are expected to be independently related to parental alcoholism and antisocial behavior. Maternal characteristics are expected to moderate the relation between paternal alcoholism and maternal parenting behavior. Potential differences in parenting behavior as a function of paternal alcoholism will also be evaluated.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/1/955/31/12

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $590,962.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $638,173.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $696,680.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $668,539.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $606,448.00

Fingerprint

infant development
alcoholism
school grade
father
self-regulation
kindergarten
infant
childhood
alcohol
mother-child relationship
social competence
Group
cognitive development
interaction
applicant
school
supplement
longitudinal study
parents