Young adults affected by parental substance abuse

A study of how adolescents and young adults are affected by their parents substance abuse


The results from this study will contribute to an enhanced understanding of the challenges that adolescents and young adult of parents with a substance abuse confront, and the ways in which the wider society, including the educational system, social services and treatment institutions can meet with the parents and the children.


Many studies have highlighted a strong correlation between parental substance abuse and a range of negative effects on a child’s health and welfare. With its comprehensive data material, the present Ph.D-study can offer an important contribution to new knowledge about this group and the different impacts of the parental substance abuse.

The Study

The data is extensive from registers and surveys, identifying 12000 young people in the age 15-25 and interviews with 6653 youth. The register data is also based on both biological and social parents. Data from several registers is collected concerning schooling, education levels, employment status, delinquency, as well as attending the treatment system including hospitals, mental health services, alcohol and drug treatment centres. The project started in 2017 and will finish in 2021.


Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University, is funding the research.


Data is provided and accessed at Statistic Denmark. Ph.D-student Kirsten S. Frederiksen also intends to cooperate with networks related to the research subject, such as the BRUS project and the Nordic network AHTO (Harms to others) established by the Nordic Welfare Centre.