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I Just Want a Normal Life"": A Phenomenological Inquiry into Children'sPerspectives on Parental Addiction and the Effects ofthe Addiction in the Parent-Child Relationship [Paperback]

Andrea Reinking

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Book Description

September 29, 2008 3836494620 978-3836494625
Substance abuse is a destructive behavior thataffects the life of the chemically dependentindividual and his/her family. Past research hasfocused on the effectiveness of involving familymembers in therapy as to engage the substance abuserin treatment, on risk factors and predictors forchildren's future drug use, and the externalizingbehaviors exhibited by children of chemicallydependent parents. No research so far has focused onthe meanings children give to parental substanceabuse. The purpose of this study was to understandthe experiences and meanings that the children ofchemically dependent parents give to the addiction,and how the addiction affects the attachment bond. Aqualitative methodological approach, namely thetradition of phenomenology, was used.Nine childrenbetween the ages of 9 and 16 took part in the study.Several themes emerged from the children's responses,such as drug use of self and parent, child's feelingstowards the parent and their own feeling of loss,emotional and physical chaos, sources of help, andtheir life in recovery.

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About the Author

I have a PhD on Marriage and Family Therapy from SyracuseUniversity. This study is the result of my research forcompleting my degree. My interest on how children of drug usersmake meaning of their relationship with the parent arose from mywork at a Chemical Dependency Clinic and my passion for FamilyTherapy.

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