Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2007


This study utilized a multi-method design that integrated both qualitative and quantitative methods. The study sought to identify differences in kinship social support, self-esteem, and coping responses between African American college students who identify themselves as adult children of alcoholic parents (ACOAs) and adult children of on alcoholic parents (non-ACOAs) at two separate universities. The results indicate that ACOAs utilized more effective coping responses than non-ACOAs and there were no differences in levels of self-esteem and kinship social support. Personal constructs of adult children of alcoholics (ACOAs)’ coping responses while living with an alcoholic parent and/or caregiver were investigated using in-depth interviews, and follow-upparticipant checks were used. A theoretical model was developed describing: (a) causal conditions that underlie the development of resilience, (b) phenomena that arose from those causal conditions, (c) context that influenced strategy development, (d) intervening conditions that influenced strategy development, and (e) consequences of those strategies. Subcategories of each component of the theoretical model were identified and illustrated by narrative data. Implications for research, practice, and policy are addressed.

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