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Adult Children of Alcoholics: Discussion Questions

Many adult children of alcoholics (ACoA) experienced tumultuous childhoods that continue to impact them into adulthood. While these clients may have lived through tremendous hardships, they may have developed great strength and resilience as a result.

The Adult Children of Alcoholics: Discussion Questions handout was designed to prompt conversation, exploration, and insight about growing up in a household with a caregiver who abused alcohol. Topics such as family rules, relationships, and strengths are addressed with thoughtful open-ended questions.

These questions are ideal for prompting group discussion. For a simple activity, try splitting a group into pairs. Assign each pair one or two questions to discuss among themselves. After 5-10 minutes, reconvene, and ask each pair to discuss their questions with the group.

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1. Hall, C. W., & Webster, R. E. (2007). Risk factors among adult children of alcoholics. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 3(4), 494.

2. Klostermann, K., Chen, R., Kelley, M. L., Schroeder, V. M., Braitman, A. L., & Mignone, T. (2011). Coping behavior and depressive symptoms in adult children of alcoholics. Substance Use & Misuse, 46(9), 1162-1168.

3. Lander, L., Howsare, J., & Byrne, M. (2013). The impact of substance use disorders on families and children: from theory to practice. Social work in public health, 28(3-4), 194-205.

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