How Parents’ Alcohol Abuse Can Lead to Teen Dating Violence

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 | By JP Emerald Coast

According to AAMFT, 26.8 million children are being exposed to alcoholism, to some degree, within the family. This alcohol abuse is especially alarming in light of a recent study that pointed out having a parent with an alcohol use disorder increases the risk for dating violence among teenagers.

Teen Dating Violence Attributed to Alcoholic Parents

One University at Buffalo study published this summer notes that aggressive behavior and involvement in dating violence are related to stressors that children are exposed to in the formative pre-school years.

The study heavily linked mothers dealing with alcoholism (either themselves or their romantic partner) with being “less warm and sensitive.” Marital discourse and the family dynamics that exist in the middle school years are also impactful in the development of violence in romantic teen relationships. Researchers also noted that siblings who are aggressive with each other in childhood are more likely to be aggressive with their romantic partners as teenagers.

Early intervention is critical in addressing these issues, as children with more “warm and sensitive” mothers do not have trouble regulating their emotions and behavior the way children of alcoholic parents do.

Alcohol Abuse on the rise

Sixty-five percent of Americans reported consuming alcohol during the year from 2001 to 2002; this number increased more than 11 percent in the 2012 to 2013 period, with 72.7 percent reporting alcohol consumption that year. High-risk drinking jumped from 20.2 million Americans to 29.6 million during this period, and those diagnosed with alcohol use disorder rose nearly 70 percent, reaching 29.9 million.

Seeking Help

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