Parental codependency as a risk factor of forming addictions in children



The deep causes of addictions in children are analyzed. An attempt is made to construct a theoretical model, describing one of the possible psychological mechanisms of parent-child relationship influence on the addiction formation in children. We show that the most important, yet underexplored, characteristic of parents as agents of parenting is their motivation towards the child and its subjective awareness. Evidence is provided that parenting position is determined by a complex interplay of conscious and unconscious motives. The actually operating motives that determine the relationship with children, being addictive by nature, may be displaced or represented in parent’s mind by substitute, socially approved motives. In this case, the parenting obtains elements of addictive behavior of codependent type, creating the conditions for addiction formation in children.

General Information

Keywords: addiction, addictive behavior, codependency, emotional trauma, codependency triangle

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Bartsalkina V.V. Parental codependency as a risk factor of forming addictions in children. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2012. Vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 18–25. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Bahadova E.V. Neblagopoluchnaya sem'ya kak faktor formirovaniya deviantnogo povedeniya detei // Voprosy psihologii. 2009. № 1.
  2. Berezin S.V., Liseckii K.S. Narkomaniya glazami semeinogo psihologa. SPb., 2005.
  3. Bityuckaya E.V. Trudnaya zhiznennaya situaciya: kriterii kognitivnogo ocenivaniya // Psihologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie. 2007. № 4.
  4. Kalmykova E.S., Gagarina M.A., Padun M.A. Rol' tipa privyazannosti v geneze addiktivnogo povedeniya // Psihologicheskii zhurnal. 2006. T. 27. № 6; 2007. T. 28. № 1.
  5. Moskalenko V.D. Zavisimost': semeinaya bolezn'. M., 2011.
  6. Mun'yagisen'i E. Rol' mikrosredy v formirovanii addiktivnogo povedeniya u podrostkov: Dis. kand. psihol. nauk: 19.00.13: Moskva, 2003 151 c. RGB OD, 61:03-19/488-8.
  7. Psihologiya i lechenie zavisimogo povedeniya / Pod red. S. Daulinga. M., 2000.
  8. Rean A.A. Psihologiya podrostka. Spb., 2004.
  9. Uainhold B., Uainhold Dzh. Osvobozhdenie ot sozavisimosti. M., 2002.
  10. Horni K. Nevroticheskaya lichnost' nashego vremeni. Samoanaliz. M., 1993.
  11. Conger R. D., Belsky J., Capald D. M. The intergenerational transmission of parenting: closing comments for the special section // Developmental Psychology. 2009. V. 45. № 5.
  12. Muller R. T., Gragtmans K., Baker R.Childhood physical abuse, attachment, and adult social support: Test of a mediational model // Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. 2008. V. 40. № 2.
  13. Shaffer A., Burt K. B., Obradovic? J., Herbers J. E., Masten A. S. Intergenerational continuity in parenting quality: The mediating role of social competence // Developmental Psychology. 2009. V. 45. № 5.

Information About the Authors

Victoria V. Bartsalkina, PhD in Psychology, Assistant Professor, Academic title Senior Researcher, Distant Learning, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 4421
Previous month: 59
Current month: 16


Total: 3446
Previous month: 11
Current month: 14