The concept of Adult Child came from the Alateens who began the Hope for Adult Children of Alcoholics meeting. The original members of our fellowship, who were over eighteen years old, were adults; but as chlidren they grew up in alcoholic homes.
Adult Child also means that when confronted, we regress to a stage in our childhood.ACA History – an interview with Tony A., 1992
Adult Children of Alcoholics uses the words of fellowship co-founder Tony A. as a foundation to define the adult child personality.
An adult child is someone who responds to adult situations with self-doubt, self-blame, or a sense of being wrong or inferior, all learned from stages of childhood.
Without help, we unknowingly operate with ineffective thoughts and judgments as adults. The regression can be subtle, but it is there sabotaging our decisions and relationships.
The following questions can help you decide if alcoholism or other family dysfunction existed in your family. If your parents did not drink, your grandparents may have drank and passed on the disease of family dysfunction to your parents. If alcohol or drugs were not a problem, your home may have been chaotic, unsafe, and lacking nurture like many alcoholic homes.
If you answer “yes” to three or more of these questions, you may be suffering from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or other dysfunctional family.
(Questions from the ACA Fellowship Text, pp. 18-20)