Article Title: Roles and Mental Health Functioning of Adult Children of Alcoholic Fathers in Pakistan

Author(s): Ivan Suneel, Zahid Mahmood, and Sadia Saleem

Institute(s): Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Management and Technology, C-II, Johar Town, Lahore.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2017, Vol. 32, No. 1, 317-332

Correspondence Address: Sadia Saleem, Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Management and Technology, C-II, Johar Town, Lahore. Pakistan. E-mail:


It has been amply demonstrated through clinical practice and research that alcoholism not only affects the individual, but the family as well (Olmsted, Crowell, & Waters, 2003). The affects are numerous ranging from nonclinical to clinical problems (Barnard & McKeganey, 2004). Moreover, one of the salient features is that the family members of the alcoholics, especially, the children regardless of age develop certain psychosocial roles in order to deal with the chaos in the family caused by the parent’s alcoholism (Daylon, 2012). The present study was aimed to study the mental health functioning, the roles assumed by the adult children of alcoholics, and also the relationship between the two variables. In order to achieve the aim, data were collected from private rehabilitation centers where the fathers were admitted for treatment of alcoholism and the family were counseled on outpatient basis. To determine the mental health functioning General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg & Williams, 1988) was used and for the roles Role Identification Scale (Samuel, Mahmood, & Saleem, 2014) was administered on 400 participants with age range 18-25 years with equal gender distribution. The results showed two sets of complimentary roles in the family and their significant relationship with mental health functioning. The relationship between the variables was discussed in context of indigenous family structure and cultural practices along with implications of the study.

Keyword. Alcoholism, adult children of alcoholics, mental health, roles

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