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Parenting and Infant Development in Alcoholic Families

Eiden | Leonard | Edwards | Grohman | Colder

This longitudinal study examines the role of parents’ alcohol problems on developmental trajectories of children’s self-regulation, peer relationships, and cognitive development using a transactional approach that considers multiple influences on parenting and child development. These include factors associated with parents’ alcohol problems such as depression and antisocial behavior as well as contextual factors such as marital aggression, life stress, and support. From 1994-2004, families were assessed when children were 12, 18, 24, 36 months of age, at 4 years, and upon entry into kindergarten. In infancy, the primary focus was on examining the parent-child relationship. In the toddler and preschool period, measures of children’s emerging self-regulatory abilities were added. In school age, the focus shifted to include classroom behavior and peer relationships, while continuing to assess the development of self-regulation. At every age, the quality of parent-child interactions were assessed using observational measures. Parents’ psychological problems, relationships with partners, stress, and support were also assessed at each age. In this continuation, families are assessed when children are in fourth and sixth grade. Assessments focus on peer relationships, self-regulation, cognitions about substance use, parenting, and family processes. In addition to Drs. Eiden and Leonard, the continuation study team includes Drs. Craig Colder, UB Department of Psychology; Kerry Grohman, VA Western New York Healthcare System; and Ellen Edwards, Capella University. Funded by a grant of $3,342,981 from NIAAA, 2005-2012.