There is a substantial about of literature indicating that biological offspring of an alcoholic parent, especially the father, are at higher risk for developing alcohol-related problems in adulthood than offspring of non-alcoholic parents. It has also been shown that several other factors have also been known to influence the development of alcohol-related problems. Those factors include cognitive difficulties, temperament, peer and family social support, and behavior problems.
Currently in it's third phase, the RISK study is looking at how the vulnerability for alcoholism and related problems are transmited from parent to child.
In Phase 1 of the study, 338 adolescents ages 14-21 were recruited along with their fathers. The influential factors of the development possible development of alcohol and behavior related problems were examined using various self-report questionnaires, neuropsychological assessments, and also the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA). The follow-up phases 2 and 3 were each performed at about 5 year intervals, and most of the same measurements were utilized at each visit.