Coping Behavior and Depressive Symptoms in Adult Children of Alcoholics
This research examined whether adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs) would report more depressive mood symptoms as compared to non-ACOAs, whether coping behaviors differed as a function of ACOA status, and whether specific coping behaviors were related to depressive mood symptoms in ACOAs.
Participants were 136 college students categorized as ACOAs and 436 college students categorized as non-ACOAs.
As compared to non-ACOAs, ACOAs reported significantly more symptoms of depressive mood.
On the COPE Inventory, ACOAs reported higher use of the following coping strategies:
- Withdrawal and defend themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally,
- Focus on Venting of Emotions,
- Humor, and
- Substance Use.
For both the ACOA and non-ACOA groups, the use of Positive Reinterpretation and Growth and the use of Planning were significantly associated with fewer depressive symptoms,
Mental Disengagement, Focus on and Venting of Emotions, Denial, Behavior Disengagement, Substance Use, and Suppression of Competing Activities were associated with higher depressive mood scores.