Treating adults raised by alcoholic parents.

J. L. Johnson, S. Tiegel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The concept of adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) is a recent one, yet ACOAs have had a formidable influence on the chemical dependence and mental health treatment field. Through their sponsorship of workshops and conferences, development of specialized inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, and generation of publications dedicated to understanding themselves with common interpersonal and intrapersonal problems, ACOAs have organized themselves into an influential social movement. Most ACOA treatment philosophies and programs are derived from the ACOA social movement using the concept of the "inner child" to guide the treatment. Unfortunately, few studies of treatment efficacy are available in the scientific literature. In this chapter, our discussion concentrates on the central treatment theme of the ACOA movement as it influences the treatment ideologies that currently guide ACOA treatment programs. We conclude by addressing the obvious need for research and the necessity for maintaining our ethical responsibility both in scientific inquiry and in the treatment of needy individuals.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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