Family History And The Aetiology Of Alcohol Dependency Essay

1433 Words Sep 21st, 2014 6 Pages
Family history plays a strong role in the aetiology of alcohol dependency. There is no denying a strong intergenerational link. It is a general consensus that this can be partially explain 40-60% by genetic vulnerability (Sher, Grekin, & Williams, 2005) but family systems theory focuses on explaining the other 40-60% of potential environmental causes embedded in the family system. Parental substance use leads to poor family relationships and parenting practices. With an alcohol dependent parent in the family there tends to be high family conflict and low levels of attachment which both increase the risk of the child developing alcohol related issues (Kumpfer, Alvarado, & Whiteside, 2003). Like wise alcohol dependent parents tend to express low levels of monitoring and generally have poor parenting skills; which leave adolescents free to express antisocial behaviours (Kumpfer et. al., 2003). Much the same, children living within a family stuck in a cycle of alcohol-use disorder, model their drinking behaviours on those around them. They are more likely to mimic hazardous drinking in this way, which is further enabled by the dysfunctional patterns of use within the family (Sher et. al. 2005). The family system’s equilibrium is maintained by alcohol use.

These are strengths for using family systems to understand the aetiology of alcohol dependency. It provides a unique way to conceptualise substance abuse as dysfunction stemming from the family system (Bowen, 1974). It aids…

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