ABSTRACT

The last chapter has shown that, although there were some differences between the two groups in terms of their psychological adjustment as young adults, the offspring/comparison variable was not as useful as had been anticipated in explaining the variation in adulthood adjustments which were found. In this chapter we look more widely for an explanation of adulthood outcomes, taking the search well beyond the one factor of whether or not a person was brought up in a home where a parent had a drinking problem. Particular attention wil l be paid to the existence of disharmony in the family of upbringing. The review of previous research in Chapter 2 suggested that this was a likely leading contender for explaining difficulties in later adjustment, and Chapter 4 showed that to explain the results concerning childhood problems and difficulties, the existence of family disharmony was a more useful variable than knowing whether or not someone's parent had a drinking problem. Also examined are the influence upon adjustment of having had psychological problems as a child or adolescent as well as a range of more contemporaneous variables to do with life circumstances and satisfactions as an adult.