Date of Award

Spring 1993

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The Personality Inventory for Children (PIC) and several demographic variables were used to explore the major question: Does gender have a mediating effect on children of alcoholic/addict parents? Alcoholic/addict parents involved in chemical dependency treatment in the metropolitan area of Portland, Oregon, were recruited for participation in this study. Respondent parents completed a demographic questionnaire and a PIC on their oldest child. Thirty-three children aged 6 to 16 were surveyed. The participants were assigned to two of four study groups based on gender of the child and gender of the parent. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and chi square statistics were run to determine differences among the study groups, as well as between the sample groups and the PIC normative sample. The mean PIC scores of this sample of children of alcoholic/addict parents did not differ significantly from the normative sample. Nor were specific gender matches found to have greater or lesser effects. Significant differences were found, however, between the PIC profile scores of sons and daughters of children of alcoholics/addicts. Sons of alcoholic/addict parents received significantly higher scores on both the Intellectual Screening and Hyperactivity scales than did daughters. Of the 19 demographic variables, two revealed statistically significant differences: age of parent and chemical dependency status of the other parent. Initially, significant differences on children's PIC scores were found between the parent gender groups. However, when a post-hoc multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was run to control for these demographic variables, no differences were found between the parent gender groups. These results support other research indicating that sons of chemically dependent parents are more likely to have behavioral problems. These findings further suggest that the gender of the alcoholic/addict parent is less critical than the chemical dependency status of the other parent in determining the effects of parental chemical dependency on children.

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