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We know from scientific research that there are significant similarities in the way alcoholism develops among people who identify as male and female. We also have a growing body of research about differences that exist between the factors associated with development of alcohol use disorders in men and women. Over the next few days, we will discuss research around these two areas, beginning today with some newer findings about the factors related to ways that young men develop alcohol use problems. The research we are using for today’s article was done in Asia at the Shandong Mental Health Center at Shandong University. For this study the researchers utilized both the CTQ, or Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and structured interviewing of chosen research subjects. The control group was drawn from a similar population to the research group, with the differentiating variable of being in treatment for alcohol use disorder at an area substance abuse treatment facility. If you have found this article because you or a family member is seeking information about drug and alcohol treatment in Florida, call us today to speak to an intake specialist from Florida Springs, the best drug and alcohol rehab in Panama City, Florida.
Parenting as a Risk Factor
We have known for a long time that style of parenting can be a factor in various mental health disorders. Most people would agree that overly strict parenting can bring risks, and so can overly neglectful parenting. The researchers in this study wanted to look at the different ways that parenting styles play a role in the development of alcohol use disorders. They studied three separate factors of parenting, and they also looked at how fathers and mothers potentially approached these issues in different ways according to different belief systems. One major reason that the researchers found for differences in alcoholism development among males and females was the very different ways that some mothers and fathers parented sons versus daughters. The study found that parents seem to approach underage drinking more strictly with daughters compared to sons. They found that many fathers tended to drink at arguably unhealthy levels during the childhoods of study participants. They also found that many mothers had a strict view that children should not engage in drinking, but that drinking was often much more permissible by male children who had fathers who drank often. Female children seemed to be dissuaded from drinking in almost all cases by both parents, even in cases where there was heavy drinking among the parents. Although this study was performed in a culture that may be quite different from cultures found in America, we can see some similarities in perceived gender roles and how parents approach things differently with sons or daughters. There is evidence in the United States that underage drinking is more permissible by parents of male children than female, just as researchers found in the Asian study.
According to researchers,
“Higher proportions of patients than controls had fathers who drank seven or more times a week and had mothers who were opposed to childhood drinking.”
This means that among people is rehab for alcoholism or drinking problems there were more patients who had fathers who drank too much and mothers who were very strict about underage drinking. We should also note that research exists showing that more fathers in the Unites States also engage in heavy drinking, and many more people with alcoholism report fathers who drank to excess. Once the researchers established that there were clear connections between parental drinking and certain parental attitudes and alcoholism, they chose to next look at the presence of childhood trauma in these same patients.
Childhood Trauma in Alcoholism Patients
We have discussed childhood trauma and alcoholism and drug addiction many times before on this blog, and it is an incredibly complicated topic, but a very important one. This study compared the prevalence of family history of alcoholism with the prevalence of childhood trauma among the members of the control and research groups. Both family history of alcoholism and childhood trauma were much higher in the research group compared to the control group which would be the expected outcome. In this study in particular, researchers found that a family history of alcoholism was an even larger factor in the development of alcohol use disorder in males, compared to the presence of traumatic childhood experiences. Although that finding is noteworthy, we must also remember that these two phenomena are not mutually exclusive. Quite the contrary, we know that drinking in a family household makes occurrences that are traumatic to children much more common. One thing that we will take a close look at as we continue to discuss this topic is the prevalence of childhood traumatic experiences in female identifying patients with alcoholism. We could guess that women will report higher proportions of traumatic childhood experienced related to both emotional and sexual abuse, but we must lean on the scientific data to know for sure. If you or a loved one needs the best drug and alcohol rehab in Florida, call Florida Springs today. Our expert clinicians specialize in getting to the roots of addiction problems, which often includes both family histories of substance use disorders and childhood trauma. As the study notes in the background section, “Many studies have found that parental alcohol use is a risk factor for childhood trauma, but whether parental alcohol-related behaviors and attitudes in themselves can affect children’s drinking behavior is unclear.” This study goes further than some others to address this important question, but more research will be necessary to draw stronger conclusions. Visit our website today for more information about drug and alcohol rehab in Panama City, Florida.
By T.A. Cannon
Family alcohol use, rather than childhood trauma, is more likely to cause male alcohol use disorder: findings from a case-control study in northern China. By: Chen X, Pan Y, Xu P, Huang Y, Li N, Song Y, BMC psychiatry, 1471-244X, 2021 Nov 10, Vol. 21, Issue 1.