Codependent Attitude and Behavior: Moderators of Psychological Distress in Adult-Offspring of Families with Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Problems

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This study explored a model of codependent attitude and behavior as moderators of the relationship between AOD problems in the family of origin (AODF) and offspring self-reports of psychological distress in a counterbalanced multiple-treatment experiment with a small heterogeneous sample of adult males and females. Three-directional hypotheses suggested by the literature were tested. Codependent attitude and behavior buffered Somatization, as predicted by the model, but exacerbated Anxiety, Hostility, and Paranoid-Ideation. Our findings suggest that codependent attitude and behavior may be adaptations that protect AODF offspring from somatic distress, not the broadband expressions of offspring neuroticism reported in the literature. Owing to the small size and self-selection of our volunteer sample, replications with larger samples are called for.