We investigated longitudinal associations between alcohol-dependent fathers’ 12-step treatment involvement and their children’s internalizing and externalizing problems (N = 125, Mage = 9.8 ± 3.1), testing the hypotheses that fathers’ greater treatment
involvement would benefit later child behavior and that this effect would be mediated by fathers’ posttreatment behaviors. The initial association was established between fathers’ treatment involvement and children’s externalizing problems only, whereas Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) results supported mediating hypotheses. Fathers’ greater treatment involvement predicted children’s lower externalizing problems 12 months later, and fathers’ posttreatment behaviors mediated this association: Greater treatment involvement predicted greater
posttreatment Alcoholics Anonymous attendance, which in turn predicted greater abstinence. Finally, fathers’ abstinence was associated with lower externalizing problems in children. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Not surprising, but nice to see someone studying children of alcoholics: