Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)



First Advisor

Sarah L. Cook


In the 1980’s, a handful of authors distilled the anecdotal experiences of adult children of alcoholics (ACoAs) into a syndrome of dysfunctional characteristics that they proposed were shared by most ACoAs. The books they published were commercially successful and launched a popular movement and a self-help industry, which mental health clinicians would eventually need to either acknowledge or refute. In the ensuing years, the ACoA syndrome has become broadly accepted among laypersons, but efforts to validate this syndrome through empirical research have been inconclusive. To date, there is little evidence regarding the degree to which mental health clinicians have embraced the validity of an ACoA symptomology. In this study, mental health clinicians in a southeastern state were surveyed regarding both their endorsement of a distinct ACoA syndrome and the therapeutic utility of ACoA support groups. The results indicated a lack of support for either.