• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Adult Children of Alcoholics

  • By: Sharlene Thompson Richards
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) are adults who were raised by an alcoholic parent or caregiver. As children they grew up with a caregiver who was consumed by caring for the needs of the alcoholic parent. In this family system the child's needs are backgrounded and the parents' needs are foregrounded. Children may feel neglected and lack proper socialization from their parents. Growing up in this type of environment has negative health consequences for these children throughout their lives.

Adult children of alcoholics suffer disproportionately from mental health issues and chronic health problems such as back pain, migraines, colitis, bulimia, depression, anxiety, hypertension, ulcers, and bowel trouble, as well as other types of chronic pain. Research has not pinpointed the cause of this but has found ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles