Adult Children of Alcoholics refers to individuals who have grown up in a Dysfunctional or alcoholic household. Adult Children of Alcoholics carry common characteristics into adulthood as the result of their childhood and upbringing. Adult children tend to struggle with addiction. Even without a substance problem they may take on the characteristics of an addict(www.adultchildren.org). Children of Alcoholics can refer to the twelve-step program to assist them in the recovery process. Friends in Recovery, designed the Twelve Steps for Adult Children of Alcoholics.
Dr. Janet G. Woititz identified in her book, Adult Children of Alcoholics, thirteen primary characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics.
- Guessing at what normal behavior is.
- Having difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
- Lying when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
- Judging themselves without mercy.
- Having difficulty having fun.
- Taking themselves very seriously.
- Having difficulty with intimate relationships.
- Overreacting to changes over which they have no control.
- Constantly seeking approval and affirmation.
- Usually feeling that they are different from other people.
- Extreme responsibility or irresponsibility.
- Extreme loyalty, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
Impulsiveness – tending to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsivity leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.