ORIGINS OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR: Structuring Pathways to Alcoholism during Infancy and Early Childhood

Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Robert A. Zucker, Eun Young Mun, Leon I. Puttler, Maria M. Wong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Alcoholism is the most common form of substance abuse in the United States (Grant et al., 1991) with high rates of co-active psychopathology (37%) and other drug use/abuse (47.3%) (Reiger et al., 1990). Furthermore, the rearing environments of children of alcoholics (COAs) are replete with risk factors known to adversely affect the development of young children (Sameroff, 2000). COAs as young as three years old show signs of behavioral problems (Jansen, Fitzgerald, Ham, and Zucker, 1995), and have depressed levels of cognitive functioning (Poon, Ellis, Fitzgerald and Zucker, 2000) and cognitive achievement (Piejak et al., under review) when they are in first and second grade. These indicators of risk are also thought to be the early antecedents of a subtype of alcoholism that is characterized by earlier onset, more severe expression, denser family history, and higher levels of paternal antisocial personality. However, not all offspring of alcoholics become alcoholics themselves, although there is evidence that COAs are at substantially higher risk for alcoholism and various forms of developmental dysregulation than are children without a family history of alcoholism (Cotton, 1979).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInfant Development
Subtitle of host publicationEcological Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781135580391
ISBN (Print)0815328397
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


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