eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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3/2019
vol. 32
 
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abstract:
Original article

Mothers’ co-dependence and their daughters’ patterns of attachment and romantic relationships as adult children of alcoholics: an explorative study

Monika Kornaszewska-Polak
1

1.
Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Chair of Family Sciences, Faculty of Theology, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland/Instytut Psychologii, Wydział Nauk Społecznych i Katedra Nauk o Rodzinie, Wydział Teologiczny, Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach, Polska
Alcohol Drug Addict 2019; 32 (3): 153-174
Online publish date: 2019/12/18
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Introduction
Parental attitudes in families with alcohol related problems play a significant role in the moulding of maladaptive behaviour patterns in children. Many authors referred to the influence of alcohol dependent father, however the transmission of the co-dependent mothers’ attitudes on children appears to be a sphere still lacking extensive research. John Bowlby’s theory of attachment emphasises the mother’s unique role in child upbringing and creating patterns of attachment in childhood.

Material and methods
A survey was conducted using the Experiences in Close Relationship questionnaire (ECR-R), the Parental Attitude Questionnaire (KPR-Roc) and an in-depth interview. Thirty women with the Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoA) syndrome, currently in therapy, were examined by application of quantitative and qualitative methods.

Results
The analysis has shown: 1) women with ACoA syndrome displayed insecure attachment patterns, including the fearful-avoidant pattern, 2) a correlation between a high level of anxiety attachment and the parental overprotecting attitude, 3) the attitudes of co-dependent mothers towards their daughters were predominantly distanced and rejecting, 4) the romantic relationships of women with ACoA syndrome were typically marked with violence, solitude and low satisfaction.

Discussion
The research has demonstrated that the mother’s co-dependence exerts a fundamental impact on their daughters’ quality of adult life. Mothers’ overprotecting, distanced and rejecting attitudes had contributed to the daughters insecure attachment patterns and ACoA syndrome. All these symptoms translated in their difficulties in establishing satisfactory romantic bonds in adulthood.

Conclusions
Intergenerational transmission of behaviour patterns from co-dependent mothers to their daughters triggered adult daughters’ maladaptive behaviours and considerably reduced their satisfaction with life.

keywords:

Attachment, Co-dependence, ACoA syndrome, Women’ romantic relationships

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