• Eiden, Rina (PI)
  • Leonard, Kenneth (PI)
  • Leonard, Kenneth (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


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.
Effective start/end date1/1/955/31/12


  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: $638,173.00
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: $590,962.00
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: $668,539.00
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: $606,448.00
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: $696,680.00


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