Association between Parent-Reported Executive Functions and Self-Reported Emotional Problems among Adolescent Offspring of Fathers with Alcohol Dependence

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · J Neurosci Rural Pract
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1745820


Objectives To compare the executive functions in adolescents of fathers with alcohol dependence (AOFADs) with a control group of adolescents without a paternal history of alcohol dependence and examine the association between executive functioning problems and behavioral and emotional problems.

Materials and Methods The study included 39 AOFADs and 45 adolescent offspring of fathers without a history of alcohol-use disorders, who were matched for age and sex. They were assessed using standardized measures of executive functions and emotional and behavioral problems.

Statistical Analysis A comparison was made between the two groups about the parental report of adolescents’ executive functions and adolescents’ self-reported emotional and behavioral problems. ANCOVA was performed to understand the covariance of educational and socio-economic status on executive functions. Correlation between executive functions, emotional and behavioral problems, and the duration of father’s alcohol dependence was examined with Spearman’s rho.

Results AOFAD group showed significant impairment on all subdomains of executive functions and emotional and behavioral disturbances (p < 0.01) but not on the prosocial behavioral dimension (p < 0.01). The group differences were independent of child’s education and family income. Executive functional impairments positively correlated with psychopathology (p < 0.01). Problems with executive functions and psychopathology correlated with the duration of the father’s alcohol dependence.

Conclusions AOFADs are at risk for executive function impairments which in turn are strongly associated with emotional and behavioral problems. The association is independent of child’s education and family economic status. The duration of alcohol dependence in fathers is associated with these problems. It has implications for targeted interventions for both adolescents and families.

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