Single Parent Children and Alcohol Abuse
Research findings have demonstrated a relatively strong association between single parent children and
More specifically, children who are raised in single-family households are approximately twice as likely to
experience alcohol-related problems such as alcoholism or alcohol abuse as compared with children who are raised by
both parents in the same household.
Alcohol-Related Diseases and Single-Parent Households
According to a Swedish study published in the January 2003 edition of The Lancet medical journal, children
raised in single-parent households are twice as likely to develop alcohol-related diseases than children who live
with both parents.
In the same study, furthermore, the risk of drug abuse was found to be three times higher in girls and four
times higher in boys from single-parent homes.
Note: This Swedish study compared hospital admissions and death statistics during the 1990s for almost a million
A number of different alcoholism research studies have concluded that children growing up without their
biological father present are more likely to commit crime, abuse drugs and alcohol, drop out of school, commit
suicide, live in poverty and become pregnant as a teenager than children living with their married parents.
In a similar manner, the findings from another study discovered that children growing up in single-parent
households are twice as likely to develop alcohol-related diseases than children who live with both parents.
Studies on Contact with Biological Fathers and Drug and Alcohol
In one study, even 11 or 12 years after the divorce of their parents, adolescents who have good relationships
with their non-custodial fathers are less likely to abuse alcohol or drugs than children who never see their
In the same study, children who live without contact with their biological fathers are, in comparison to
children who have such contact, more than twice as likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.
In a study of over 450 alcoholics and 80 heroin addicts, it was discovered that the absent father in such
circumstances is a very typical occurrence.
In fact, according to this study, "it is the rule rather than the exception."
In a study entitled "Father Absence and Adolescent 'Problem Behaviors': Alcohol Consumption, Drug Use and Sexual
Activity" in the Adolescence Journal, it was found that the absence of the father from the home significantly
affects the behavior of adolescents, and results in greater use of alcohol and marijuana.
This study also found that the impact of the father's absence from the home is apparently greater on male
adolescents than on female adolescents.
That is, the alcohol and marijuana use for father-absent male adolescents is greater than for any other
The data in this study emphasized the importance of the father as a key figure in the transmission of values and
as a role model in the life of the adolescent.
Conclusion: Single Parent Children and Alcohol Abuse
When considering the results from the above studies, it seems plausible to conclude that there is a strong
correlation between single parent children and alcohol abuse.
That is, children who are raised in single-family households are roughly twice as likely to experience
alcohol-related problems such as alcohol abuse and alcohol dependency as compared with children who are raised by
both parents in the same household.
When alcohol problems emerge, it is important to get the drinker professional help. This applies to all people,
whether they are single parent children or not.