Master of Arts (MA)
Semester of Degree Completion
William G. Kirk
This study compared personality traits of adult children of alcoholics with adults who did not come from alcoholic home environments, for the purpose of developing treatment protocols. It was hypothesized that 1) there would be differences between clinical ACOA's and non-clinical ACOA's, 2) clinical ACOA's would differ from non-ACOA's, 3) non-clinical ACOA's would differ from non-ACOA's. Four groups were used in the comparison, adult children of alcoholics in treatment, adult children of alcoholics with no treatment history, non-adult children of alcoholics in treatment, and non-adult children of alcoholics with no treatment history. The fifty-two female participants were administered the Children of Alcoholics Screening Test to determine ACOA status and the Personality Screening Inventory to measure specified personality traits (Alienation, Social Nonconformity, Discomfort, Expression, Defensiveness). Partial support was found for two of the three hypotheses. The first hypothesis which anticipated trait differences between clinical and non-clinical ACOA's was not supported. Contrary to expectations, there were no significant differences between ACOA's on the basis on treatment experience. Analysis revealed significant differences between clinical ACOA's and non-ACOA's. Clinical ACOA's scored higher on three of the five scales of the PSI (Alienation, Social Nonconformity, and Discomfort). Differences were also expected between non-clinical ACOA's and non-ACOA's. There was partial support for this hypothesis as non-clinical ACOA's had higher scores on Social Nonconformity and Discomfort Scales. Implications for clinical practices are discussed as well as recommendations for further research.
Hampsten, Patti K., "A Comparison of Personality Correlates of Self-Identified and Nonidentified Adult Children of Alcoholics" (1996). Masters Theses. 1912.