Objective: This study was undertaken to estimate the number of children nationwide exposed to an adult who has alcohol problems (AP) or alcohol dependence (AD) and to examine ethnic differences in the number of children exposed. Method: The study used survey data from the 1995 National Alcohol Survey, which constituted a nationally representative sample of household members 18 years of age and older in the 48 contiguous states, were randomly selected, with oversamples of blacks and Hispanics. A total of 4,925 subjects were interviewed, with a response rate of 77%. The questionnaire asked about AP and AD in the previous 12 months. Rates from the survey and data from the U.S. 2000 Census were used to calculate the estimates. Results: Overall, 11.6 million children (16%) were exposed to one or more AP and 2.1 million children (3%) were exposed to AD. A higher proportion, nearly 19%, of both black and Hispanic children as compared with 14.5% of white children were exposed to AP. Significantly higher proportions of black (5.2%) and Hispanic (4.9%) compared with white (2.0%) children were exposed to AD. Conclusions: A large number of children are being exposed to at least one adult suffering from alcohol problems or dependence. Black and Hispanic children are disproportionately affected by these problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)