PARENTING AND INFANT DEVELOPMENT IN ALCOHOLIC FAMILIES
EIDEN, RINA D Principal Investigator
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DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This is the second competing continuation of a multi-method longitudinal study of parenting and child development in alcoholic and non-alcoholic families. The original application focused on the socioemotional and cognitive development of infants at 12, 18, and 24 months of age. In a competitive supplement, we initiated a 36-month follow-up to examine the development of self-regulation. In the first competing continuation, we continued to examine these issues over the transition to kindergarten, and we added an examination of social competence in the school setting. We also initiated a brief, questionnaire assessment when the child entered 2nd grade in order to continue examining changes in risk and protective factors and in behavior problems in the early school years. The current application proposes to complete the 2nd grade assessments, add a cohort of younger siblings beginning at kindergarten, and assess these children and their families in middle childhood (4th grade) and again after the children have made the transition to middle school (6th grade). These middle childhood and pre-adolescent developmental periods are of critical importance in understanding the emergence of alcohol and substance use, self-regulation and peer relationships. The final sample consists of 225 families with 12-month-old infants at recruitment (111 girls and 114 boys). Families were classified as being in 1 of 2 major groups: the non- alcoholic group consisting of parents with no or few current alcohol problems (n = 101), and the father alcoholic group (n = 124). An additional 105 younger siblings will be added to this cohort. At 4th and 6th grade families will be asked to visit the Institute twice. Mother-child interactions will be conducted at the first assessment followed by father-child interactions in the second assessment. Assessments of children's self-regulation, risk taking, behavior problems, peer relationships, and substance use will also be conducted. Analyses will examine the following hypotheses: 1) Fathers' alcoholism will have direct associations with child outcomes at 4th and 6th grade; 2) That there will be a unique effect of alcoholism on parenting, and other risk factors associated with alcoholism will partially mediate this effect; 3) Parenting behavior will be the proximal mediator of the association between alcoholism and child outcomes; 4) The quality of the mother-child relationship will moderate the impact of fathers' alcoholism on child outcomes, including developmental trajectories of those outcomes.