Distress and ad lib alcohol consumption after interactions with child confederates were investigated in parents of children with externalizing disorders—attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (CD), or oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Sixty subjects interacted with boys trained to act like either normal children or children with ADHD/CD/ODD. Interactions with deviant confederates resulted in feelings of inadequacy and produced negative affect but had no effect on alcohol consumption. Post hoc analyses showed that parents with a family history of alcohol problems (FH+) showed increased drinking after interaction with a deviant confederate, compared with FH+ parents who interacted with the normal confederate. FH- parents showed the opposite pattern of results. (Am J Addict 1998; 7:103–114)