Children of Alcoholic Parents

Are you worried about children of alcoholic parents? Do you wonder how to help these children?

When a parent suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction this can contribute to stress and upset in the children. Children of alcoholics, or parents who are addicted to drugs, are at risk of developing childhood problems, including social, emotional and behavior problems, as well as problems learning in school.

It is important to intervene early and take preventative steps to help these children. Otherwise the child problems they exhibit may escalate and become more difficult to reverse and deal with. Unless we help these children now, the risks they face can follow them into adulthood.

A Psychological Assessment Can Help Children of Alcoholic Parents

Are you are worried about child of an alcoholic parent? Do you wonder how a child is coping when a parent suffers from alcoholism? A psychological assessment can increase understanding of a child and how to help.

Learn how a child is doing when a parent suffers from alcoholism or is addicted to drugs. Where are things going o'kay and where do you need to intervene to help? What kind of strategies can reduce the risks for these children.

Assess how a child is doing when a parent suffers from alcoholism. Use this information to develop strategies to help children of alcoholic parents and reduce the risks they face.

What Does an Assessment Comprise?

The following assessment measures can help you learn how a child is doing when a parent suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction. What measures are most appropriate depend on the child and his or her individual needs. Not all of these measures will apply to each case.

  • Background Questionnaire: This includes questions related to parent addiction and its effects on a child. It also includes information about a child, such as medical, developmental and family history. You will provide information about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, your view of where things are working or not going so well, and what kind of help you need.

  • Child Biographical Information Includes material such as personal, counseling, medical, and family histories and the child's strengths and weaknesses. A developmental history is also included.

  • Child and Family Information: Includes detailed history of the child and his/her family, as well as a behavior checklist.

  • Parent Biographical Information: Documents information such as personal, counseling, medical, and family histories, child symptoms and parent strengths and needs.*

  • Couple's Information: Identifies strengths and weaknesses in the relationship. Each partner's point of view and his/her perspective on the other partner's point of view are assessed.*

  • Childhood, Child or Adolescent Behavior Checklists. Behavior rating scales screen for emotional and behavioral concerns, including high levels of anxiety.

  • Child Projective Drawings Drawings, in conjunction with other projective measures, including story telling techniques, can provide clues about psychological distress in a child.

  • The Parenting Satisfaction Scale (PSS) explores the parent-child relationship. It is a 45-item standardized questionnaire that can be completed in less than 30 minutes. The PSS assesses parenting satisfaction in three domains.

These include:

  • Satisfaction with the Spouse/Ex-Spouse*
  • Parenting Performance
  • Satisfaction with the Parent-Child Relationship
  • Satisfaction with Parenting Performance
  • Overall Parenting Satisfaction

*How well you are doing, the quality of your relationship with your spouse or the child’s other parent and your satisfaction with your role as a parent are crucial factors that impact on the child and can exacerbate or ameliorate child distress.

Dr. O'Connor will score, interpret and summarize the information from the assessment resources and screeners you completed. She will then integrate this information into a written summary report. This will include her interpretation and summary of the test findings and practical, effective solutions to help a child and encourage healthy coping strategies in children of alcoholic parents.

Recommendations will integrate an understanding of how to help children of alcoholic parents. They are also tailored to the specific needs of the child.

Dr. O'Connor's report includes a summary of the child's strengths and needs, an overview of Dr. O’Connor's view of the problem, recommendations to address it and options for further exploration. She will also refer you to relevant resources to provide further support and understanding about how to help.

Dr. O'Connor offers this service on-line or at her Toronto office.

To find out more about this Assessment Based Solution Package "When a Parent Suffers from Alcoholism, click here.

You can also ask Dr. O'Connor a question about how to help children of alcoholic parents.


ORDER Dr. O’Connor’s book--I Can Be Me—and find help for children of alcoholic parents.

I CAN BE ME is a Helping Book for Children of Alcoholic Parents.

Click here, to learn more about this book and how it can help you to help children when alcoholism is a problem in the family.