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"What did daddy do now?": An autoethnography of a daughter and her alcoholic father's dialectic tensions
Romero, Torey Alexandra
Lindemann, KurtRitblatt, Shulamit
Children of alcoholics (CoAs) face adversity in their life due to a parent’s alcoholism, which leads them to face issues with their self-esteem, performance in school, and parentification. Additionally, when CoAs grow up and become adult children of alcoholics (ACoAs), these issues follow them into adulthood and new issues arise as well. These issues can include struggles with resiliency, a low emotional IQ, and difficulties in their personal relationships. These issues in conjunction with a parent’s alcoholism can lead to an ACoA harboring resentment towards their alcoholic parent, which leads to dialectic tensions in the relationship. By using autoethnography as a method of inquiry, this study looks at the dialectic tensions that formed between an ACoA and her parent who is an alcoholic, and the relational maintenance strategies that are communicated in the relationship. This research concludes that there were seven dialectic tensions within the relationship, between the ACoA and their alcoholic parent. These dialectic tensions are; autonomy versus connection, openness versus closed-ness, judgement versus acceptance, commitment versus non- commitment, resentment versus longing, Instrumentality versus connection, and support versus non-support. Additionally, this study concludes that while relational maintenance strategies of separation, selection, and temporal separation were communicated, they were not communicated effectively for the well-being of the relationship. Keywords: children of alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics, parental alcoholism, destructive communication patterns, impacts of parental alcoholism
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2018
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