Date of Award

Spring 1989

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Nordberg, Robert B.

Second Advisor

Murry, Joseph A.

Third Advisor

Kipfmueller, Mark K.


Some 28 million Americans have at least one alcoholic parent. One of every 8 Americans is the child of an alcoholic. Within the last 10 years many individuals and groups have worked to bring ACOA issues into the awareness of the public and to develop programs to deal effectively with the needs of this population. Much of the literature in this area is alluding to the fact that the majority of adult children of alcoholics select the service professions; e.g. therapist, social workers and health professionals, in that order. Recently a priest, an ACOA, writing on this subject, stated that 50% of the Roman Catholic clergy is ACOA. There is no known research that can confirm the statistics for men or women in religious communities. The purpose of this research is to investigate this area. It does not wish to suggest that people enter religious life because they are ACOA, but rather it wishes to draw attention to the fact that there are factors affecting a specific population within the consecrated life that communities may not be addressing for various reasons. Though it has been limited by many unforeseen factors, and consequently may generate more questions than it answers, I hope that this study will be understood as a sincere effort to shed some light on a challenge that confronts not only the religious communities but the Church which they serve.