Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics

by Janet Woititz 1983 From Adult Children of Alcoholics.

1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal behavior is.2. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.

3. Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.

4. Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy.

5. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun.

6. Adult children of alcoholics take themselves very seriously.

7. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships.

8. Adult children of alcoholics overreact to changes over which they have no control.

9. Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation.

10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people.

11. Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible.

12. Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.

13. Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive. They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences. This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment. In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.

5 Responses to “Characteristics / J. Woititz”


  1. acoa helped me understand alot about myself. I didn’t need to beat up on myself as i used to do. Thanks to my loving higher power


  2. […] Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics […]

  3. steven Says:

    I have been involved w/ACOA since 1995, and it truely does help one understand and helps one put into practice other behaviors which helps one enjoy life rather than being in a state of confusion, especially being able to go through life with-out “DRINKING SOCIALLY” and being stuck in denial as to the cause and effects of the illness of alcoholism within the “HUMAN FAMILY”, not just individual family’s!

  4. rachel Says:

    I went to acoa meetings and it has changed my entire life for the better. In 2011 for the first time in my life I didn’t live with alcoholics. Learning and knowing the characteristics of adult children helped me focus on what I needed to change.

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