Transgenerational Transmission of Addiction Problems


This paper aims to evaluate the possible transgenerational transmission of a mechanism of addiction triggered by a specific type of attachment and the prevalence of psychological trauma in the descendants. 22 adults (alcoholics, drug addicts, and heroin addicts) aged 23 to 56 followed in an addictology treatment centre are participated. Measurements: We evaluated the prevalence of family ascendants on our population using two semi structured interviews and a genogram. Potential psychological trauma was measured with the Child Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) and the quality of attachment with the Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ). Findings: 95% of patients have direct ascendants who suffer from addiction. 86% of patients suffered emotional negligence during childhood. Physical abuse is frequent (41%) as well as emotional abuse (50%), which proves a form of mistreatment and explains the presence of an insecure attachment. Conclusion: Addicts have often been neglected and have lived in emotional deprivation during childhood, which is the reason for an insecure attachment. The ascendants, who often suffer from addiction themselves, have, because of their pathology, contributed to a possible transgenerational transmission of the mechanism of addiction via the quality of the affective links with their children.

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Bernoussi, A. , Masson, J. , Thierry, A. and Nicolas, M. (2015) Transgenerational Transmission of Addiction Problems. Open Journal of Medical Psychology, 4, 82-87. doi: 10.4236/ojmp.2015.43008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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