The family climate has notable impact on cognitive, emotional, behavioural, social and physical development of children and adolescents and can be influenced by parents' health status. The present study aimed at evaluating whether living with a parent with alcohol use disorder negatively influences the perceived emotional family climate, parental attitudes and internal representations of family relationships. Forty-five children living with a parent with alcohol use disorder and 45 controls, matched for sex and age, completed the Level of Expressed Emotion Scale and the Family Attitudes Questionnaire. Their significant parent completed the Parental Attitudes Scale. The results suggested that living with a parent with an alcohol use disorder increased the risk of having perceived higher levels of emotional response, attitude towards illness and expectations from their parents; it also increased the probability of being exposed to lower parental pleasure and of having represented worse family relationships. Emotion regulation interventions might be useful to protect children living with a parent with alcohol use disorder from a potential chaotic and unpredictable family environment.
- alcohol use disorder
- children of alcoholics
- family climate
- parental attitudes
- representations of family relationships