An intervention program for university students who have parents with alcohol problems: a randomized controlled trial

Alcohol Alcohol. 2006 Nov-Dec;41(6):655-63. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agl057. Epub 2006 Aug 21.


Aim: To study the effects of alcohol and coping intervention among University students who have parents with alcohol problems.

Methods: A total of 82 university students (56 women and 22 men, average age 25) with at least one parent with alcohol problems were included. The students were randomly assigned to one of three programs: (i) alcohol intervention program, (ii) coping intervention program, and (iii) combination program. All programs were manual based and individually implemented during two 2-h sessions, 4 weeks apart. This assessment contained both a face-to-face interview and six self-completion questionnaires; AUDIT, SIP, EBAC, coping with parents' abuse questionnaire, SCL-90 and ISSI. Follow-up interviews were conducted after 1 year.

Results: All participants finished the baseline assessment, accepted and completed the intervention, while 95% of the students completed the 12-month follow-up assessment. The two groups that received alcohol intervention improved their drinking pattern significantly more than the group that did not receive alcohol intervention [change of standardized scores -0.27 (CI -0.53 to -0.03)]. The groups receiving coping intervention did not differ from the group not receiving coping intervention concerning their ability to cope with their parents' alcohol problems. Nor did they differ regarding changes in their own mental health or in their social interaction capacity.

Conclusion: The intervention improved drinking patterns in adult children of alcoholics.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child of Impaired Parents / psychology*
  • Child of Impaired Parents / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents*
  • Student Health Services / methods*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities