Differences in perception of relationships as a function of degree of alcohol related dimensions



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of the present study is to examine the differences between FHP and FHN populations in terms of their beliefs regarding expectations about interpersonal relationships. To date, no studies on FHP individuals have included measures of beliefs people hold about intimate relationships. Differences in an individual's readiness to respond to interpersonal relationships are due to individual dispositions. Although the pattern for predispositions toward interpersonal relationships is presumably acquired through past experiences and environmental factors, it is possible that different sets of beliefs are associated with transgenerational drinking pattems and heritability factors such as temperament traits that are characteristic of those with FHP. Theorists emphasizing the importance of data pertaining to temperaments in providing assistance in diagnosis and treatment have not, to date, linked the effects of difficult temperaments with irrational beliefs, nor have those studying the concept of belief states linked the effects of belief states with temperamental measiu^s, even though previous reviews have yielded adequate information about the importance of both constructs in terms of social and emotional wellbeing.

Yet to be investigated are the effects that difficult temperaments have on individual belief states. Additionally, there has been no systematic study linking FHP histories, perceptions of subjects' view of family support, difficult temperaments, and beliefs these persons have about intimate relationships. Furthermore, studies that have investigated temperament traits and alcoholism (Tarter et al., 1985), or temperaments and FHP individuals (Tarter, Laird, Kabane, Bukstein, & Kaminer, 1990), have several limitations such as the use of small sample sizes, restrictions in range and a general failure to analyze gender differences. In fact, there is no study that includes (or examines) FHP females and their intercorrelations with temperament In terms of alcohol dependency, considering the preponderance of evidence indicating the increasing equal ratios between gender, it seems appropriate if not essential to analyze the effects of family history, temperament dimensions and FES variables with females as well as the male offspring of alcoholics. Also important is Tarter's (in press) notion that certain temperament traits may not be specific to alcoholism but rather may predispose some type of socio-behavior problem that may carry over to other aspects of life functioning (i.e., intimate relationships).