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Keywords:

  • adult children of alcoholics;
  • college students;
  • depression;
  • peer relations;
  • parent-child relations;
  • gender

Relationships among adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) and parent and peer relations and depressive mood were examined among 136 ACOAs and 436 non-ACOAs. As compared to non-ACOAs, ACOAs reported less positive relationships to mothers, fathers, and peers, and more depressive mood; however, more positive relationships to parents and peers significantly reduced the strength of the association between ACOA categorization and depressive mood. Examination of data from ACOAs alone revealed that maternal alcoholism was related to less positive relationships to their mothers and to their peers; however, paternal alcoholism did not predict the quality of the relationship to fathers, mothers, or peers. Attachment to parents and peers and the gender of the alcohol-abusing parent were associated with depressive symptoms among ACOAs.