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Paternal alcohol misuse in UK military families: A cross-sectional study of child emotional and behavioural problems

Mahar, AL; Rowe, S; Pernet, D; Wickersham, A; Aiken, AB; Wessely, S; Fear, NT; (2021) Paternal alcohol misuse in UK military families: A cross-sectional study of child emotional and behavioural problems. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health , 7 (2) pp. 81-92. 10.3138/JMVFH-2019-0061. Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction: This study explores the association between paternal alcohol misuse and child emotional and behavioural problems in a representative sample of UK military families. Methods: Cohort study data on paternal alcohol consumption were linked to survey data from UK military families on child outcomes. Paternal alcohol use was measured using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Parents reported on child behavioural outcomes using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, measuring hyperactivity and inattention, emotional symptoms, conduct problems, peer relationship problems, prosocial behaviour, and total difficulties. Multivariable logistic regression accounted for survey weights and clustering. Effect modification by child age and gender and paternal mental health was explored. Results: A total of 595 fathers and 1,002 children were included in the study; 364 fathers were classed as misusing alcohol (weighted 62.3%). Paternal alcohol misuse was associated with higher odds of conduct disorders (OR 1.39; 95% CI, 0.98-1.98), although this association was not statistically significant (p = 0.07). A significant association between paternal alcohol misuse and conduct disorders was apparent for girls and in the restricted analysis of the children of fathers who did not report symptoms of depression or posttraumatic stress disorder. Discussion: This study suggests that paternal alcohol misuse may have an effect on the well-being of children in military families. Further studies replicating this association are warranted.

Type: Article
Title: Paternal alcohol misuse in UK military families: A cross-sectional study of child emotional and behavioural problems
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3138/JMVFH-2019-0061
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3138/jmvfh-2019-0061
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131435
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