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21-04-2017 | Original Paper | Uitgave 7/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 7/2017

The Patterns of Adaptation While Growing Up Under Parental Alcoholism: A Grounded Theory

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 7/2017
Sihyun Park, Karen G. Schepp


Parental alcohol dependency negatively influences children, and a number of studies have examined the numerous childhood adversities and negative developmental outcomes among children of alcoholics. However, few studies have explored how children of alcoholics adapt to their own lives while growing up in an alcoholic family. For this reason, we examined the psychosocial adaptation process that Korean adult children of alcoholics (KCOAs) had experienced since they were young, which we in turn used to generate a theory of the adaptation process of KCOAs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the psychosocial adaptation process of Korean children who grew up with a father with alcohol dependency. A total of 20 volunteer participants were recruited, and either face-to-face or telephone-based semi-structured interviews were conducted based on the participants’ preferences. The interview data were analyzed by using grounded theory methodology. As a result, ‘‘separating my own identity from my father’’ appeared as a core category of KCOAs’ adaptation process. In order to separate themselves from their fathers, they tended to pass through six stages: being trapped, awakening, struggling, blocking, understanding, and separating.

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