Ego identity of adolescent children of alcoholics

Belle Gavriel-Fried, Meir Teichman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The study examines the issue of ego identity among adolescent sons of alcoholic fathers. Forty-four adolescent sons of alcoholic fathers, age of 15-18, constituted the sample. They were drawn from public alcohol treatment center in Israel. The control group included 60 adolescents none of their parents is known as an alcoholic, sampled from integrative schools in the same neighborhood and matched by age. Ego identity was measured by Tzuriel's "Adolescent Ego Identity Scale" (AEIS). It was hypothesized that adolescent children of alcoholics will show lower scores of ego identity and of its dimensions. The hypothesis was not confirmed. To the contrary, adolescent children of alcoholics reported higher scores of "ego identity-total" and of four of the seven ego identity dimensions. One possible explanation is that children of alcoholics are maturing early in age compared to their controls. They have developed different coping strategies that facilitate creating a more "stable" ego identity compared to their peers. Another explanation is that children of alcoholics apply defense mechanisms that enhance the development of an "adaptive self."

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Drug Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


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