AbstractIntroduction: The alcoholism of the fathers is known as one of several conditions which significantly contribute for a family to be found in an adverse environment for the development of the children. It is associated to the high levels of reproduction through generations, though this is a not a universal event, as many families manage to find support and protection existing in their surroundings and avoid or repair the problems caused by the alcoholism in the life of the family. Objective: This study had as its general purpose understanding the characteristics and the processes experienced by the children of alcoholic fathers, in different levels of their life context, which enables them to positively administer the negative experiences which are present due to the chemical dependence of the fathers. As specific purposes: (1) identifying and analyzing the personal characteristics which, according the children of alcoholic fathers, have helped them to face the negative experiences as a consequence of their fathers’ chemical dependence, during their childhood and adolescence; (2) analyzing the meaningful family interactions which contributed to avoid/ease the negative consequences of the alcoholism of the fathers, in the adult life of their children. Methodology: It is a qualitative study which used as a theoretical reference the concept of resilience, in which five families living in a city in southern Brazil. The data collection took place in the period from November/2010 to January/2011, through semi-structured interviews and genogram, performed with the children of alcoholic fathers. In order to organize and perform the data analysis some matrices were built based on the concept of resilience and the purposes of this study. Results: The results show that besides the personal characteristics already identified in other studies, such as self-esteem, self-confidence, self-control, affectionate and flexible temperament, the capacity of the children are also highlighted as the following: establishing a distance in relation to critical experiences; notice themselves and living differently from their fathers; see themselves in the future. In the same way, we call attention for the development of a center for strengthening and the interactions of protection and care established among the family members. Conclusion: The results of this study reaffirm that despite the high levels of reproduction of alcoholism through generations, the people who grew up facing this problem may build a path of positive life, as long as the relationships and the characteristics which protect them can be developed.Descriptors: Family; Alcoholism; Resilience; Mental Health; Nursing.
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