A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MATERNAL ALCOHOLISM AND MATERNAL CHILD-REARING ATTITUDES, CHILD PERCEPTION OF MATERNAL BEHAVIOR, CHILD'S ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

ADRIENNE M MARCUS, Fordham University

Abstract

The child-rearing attitudes of 40 alcoholic mothers were compared with those of 40 mothers who had no drinking problem. Comparisons were made of their children, ages 7-12 on perception of maternal behavior, academic achievement, and school attendance. The sample was predominantly white, well-educated and middle-to-upper class with the two maternal groups comparable on education, occupation and socioeconomic status. The alcoholic mothers showed significantly more marital disruption than the controls, had all been in treatment for alcoholism, reported an average of 9.6 years of problem drinking and reported durations of abstinence ranging from 0 to 156 months.^ No significant differences emerged on the Maryland Parent Attitude Survey but alcoholic mothers who were actively drinking or in the early stages of recovery were found to be more protective than mothers in the later stages of recovery, suggesting that maladaptive attitudes toward child-rearing may change as a function of abstinence and therapeutic intervention.^ On the Child's Report of Parental Behavior Inventory, while the children of alcoholic mothers perceived maternal behavior just as favorably as did the control children, they viewed their mothers as employing guilt as a means of control and as being lax in their disciplinary practices to a greater extent than did the children whose mothers had no drinking problem.^ On the Peabody Individual Achievement Test, the children of alcoholic mothers scored significantly lower on the mathematics, reading recognition, reading comprehension and total test score than the control children. Moreover, the children of alcoholic mothers were more frequently placed in special education classes when compared with control youngsters. The results suggest that some children of alcoholic mothers demonstrate severe learning problems indicative of subtle central nervous system defects but that others perform exceedingly well.^ School attendance did not differentiate the two groups of children although attendance was found to correlate significantly with abstinence in the alcoholic mother. Mothers whose behavior was perceived as psychologically controlling but as lax in their discipline tended to have youngsters with the poorest academic achievement. Laxity in maternal discipline was also related to poor school attendance. Recommendations for future research are offered. ^

Subject Area

Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

MARCUS, ADRIENNE M, "A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MATERNAL ALCOHOLISM AND MATERNAL CHILD-REARING ATTITUDES, CHILD PERCEPTION OF MATERNAL BEHAVIOR, CHILD'S ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SCHOOL ATTENDANCE" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8326181.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8326181

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