NIH GUIDE, Volume 21, Number 17, May 8, 1992

PA NUMBER:  PA-92-74

P.T. 34, AA



  Risk Factors/Analysis 


  Emotional/Mental Health 

  Violent Behavior 

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) makes

grant awards for basic and applied alcohol research projects.  The

NIAAA encourages grant applicants to develop knowledge in a wide range

of areas relevant to the causes, consequences, diagnosis, prevention,

and treatment of alcohol abuse and alcoholism.  This program

announcement describes areas of research interest that are related to

children of alcoholics.  The processes for submission and review of a

grant application and the terms and conditions for grant support are

described also.  This announcement is a revision of and replaces an

earlier announcement for Research on Children of Alcoholics dated

January 1989.


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health

promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"

a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This program

announcement, Research on Children of Alcoholics, is related to the

priority area of alcohol abuse and alcoholism reduction.  Potential

applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:

Stock No. 017-001-00474-0, or Summary Report: Stock No. 017-001-00474-

0) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office,

Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202 783-3238).


Applications may be submitted by foreign and domestic non-profit and

for-profit organizations, public and private, such as universities,

colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local

governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal Government.  However,

foreign institutions are not eligible for the First Independent

Research Support and Transition (FIRST) Award (R29).  Women and

minority investigators are encouraged to apply.


Research support may be requested through applications for a research

grant (R01), small grant (R03), FIRST Award (R29), or an

exploratory/developmental grant (R21).  Specialized announcements for

the FIRST Award Program (R29), the small grant program (R03), and for

exploratory/developmental grants (R21) are available from the National

Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information, P.O. Box 2345,

Rockville, MD 20852, telephone (301) 468-2600 or 1-800-729-6686.

Applicants for R01s may request support for up to five years. Small

grants and exploratory/developmental grants are limited to two years.

Applicants for FIRST awards must request five years of support. FIRST

awards, small grants, and exploratory/developmental grants are not

renewable but continuation of the work may be requested through other

grant mechanisms.

Grant funds may be used for expenses clearly related and necessary to

conduct research projects, including direct costs that can be

specifically identified with the project and allowable indirect costs

of the institution.  Funds may not be used to establish, add a

component to, or operate a treatment, rehabilitation, or

prevention/intervention service program.  Support for research-related

treatment, rehabilitation, or prevention services and programs may be

requested only for costs required by the research. These costs must be

justified in terms of research objectives, methods, and designs that

promise to yield generalizable knowledge and/or to make a significant

contribution to theoretical concepts.


Applications received in response to this announcement will compete

with other applications assigned to the NIAAA for funding.  The amount

of funding available will depend on the quality of research a

applications, appropriated funds, and program priorities at the time of

the award.  While the NIAAA has not set aside funds for this program,

it is estimated that a approximately $500,000 will be available

annually for two or three new and/or continuation awards.


Extrapolations from data on drinking practices obtained from household

probability surveys suggest that there are approximately 29 million

children of alcoholics; an estimated 22 million are 18 years of age or

older, and 6.6 million are under the age of 18.  Unfortunately, despite

the magnitude of this population and the possibility that these

individuals may suffer a variety of problems and be at risk for

alcoholism themselves, little well-controlled research has been done

yet in this area.  Descriptive epidemiological investigations and a

variety of other kinds of studies are needed.

Scientifically sound research can provide a foundation for the

development of effective preventive and early intervention programs to

alleviate the potential adverse effects of alcoholism and problem

drinking in this group.

Although children of alcoholics are at increased risk for alcoholism,

it should be noted that a large percentage of these children do not

develop this disorder.  Research has suggested different patterns of

alcoholism, including one subtype in which the expression of alcoholism

requires both genetic vulnerability and a high environmental risk. It

is conceivable that some high-risk individuals do not develop

alcoholism because of the coping mechanisms they employ.  A variety of

coping mechanisms have been clinically observed in children of

alcoholic parents and many of these children grow up to be free from

alcoholism or other psychopathology.  The study of coping mechanisms

employed by such "resistant" individuals may be of special value for

treatment and prevention programs.

Clinical reports concerning children of alcoholics have described a

variety of psychological impairments that they experience in addition

to alcohol or drug abuse.  Psychological problems noted have included

the presence of both major and minor types of psychopathology, impaired

self-esteem and reality testing, impaired academic and vocational

performance, and susceptibility to a large number of acting-out

behaviors, including delinquency and running away.  Most of these

studies were limited to assessing children who were receiving treatment

for their problems or whose parents were being treated for alcoholism.

Research is needed to examine a broader spectrum of children of

alcoholics.  Research in large non-clinical populations might address

questions such as the following:

o What are the psychological characteristics associated with having one

or both parents alcoholic?  Are these characteristics specific for

children of alcoholics or are they similar to those found in offspring

of other dysfunctional families?

o  Do children born after a parent's recovery from alcoholism suffer

psychological problems at a rate higher than children from families who

have not had a past problem with alcoholism?  How do their problem

rates compare with those of children of active alcoholics?  How do they

compare with those of children of individuals with other chronic

conditions (e.g., schizophrenics or renal dialysis patients)?

o  Are there characteristics of "psychological resilience" that buffer

the adverse effects of parental alcoholism on some children?  If such

characteristics exist, what are they, and can they be developed in

other children of alcoholics?

o  Do family factors exist that reduce the risk of problems in children

of alcoholics?  Do children of male alcoholics have the same problems

as children of female alcoholics? Now are type and severity of parental

alcoholism related to symptoms in children?

o  Are there consistent age-related progressions of problems in

children of alcoholics?  In other words, do children of alcoholics

experience different problems at different ages?  Do particular early

problems serve as warning signs of later problems?  Can effective

prevention strategies be developed and implemented for these at-risk

children?  What are the positive and negative effects of labeling

children at-risk?

o What are the characteristics of individuals who are affiliated with

adult children of alcoholics groups?  How does the age, race, and sex

composition of these group compare to Alcoholics Anonymous?  What are

the psychological characteristics of participants in adult children of

alcoholics groups?

Studies of the variety of adverse consequences for children of

alcoholics may also include the relationship between excessive drinking

and sexual abuse of children and of spouses.  Research on the role of

excessive drinking in other violent behavior directed towards children

and spouses is also of particular interest.

Any research project on children of alcoholics may be included under

this announcement, and research studies on gender differences and

similarities are encouraged.




For projects involving human subjects and human materials, ADAMHA/NIH

requires applicants to include minorities in both genders in study

populations.  Racial/ethnic minority and gender differences in human

subjects provide valid scientific and public health reasons for

requiring that research involving human subjects includes appropriate

minority and gender representation.  If one gender and/or minorities

are excluded or are inadequately represented in this research, a clear

compelling rationale for exclusion or inadequate representation must be

provided.  ADAMHA/NIH will not make awards that do not comply with this

policy.  Instructions are provided in form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91), Section


If the required information is not contained within the application,

the application will be deferred until the information is provided.

Peer reviewers will address specifically whether the research plan in

the application conforms to these policies.  If there is limited

representation, or absence of minority representation or only one

gender is represented, AND the scientific justification for the

selected study population is inadequate, reviewers will consider this

as a scientific weakness or deficiency in the study design and reflect

this in the written review statements and in the assigned priority


Protection of Human Subjects

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has regulations for

the protection of human subjects and has developed additional

regulations for the protection of children.  A copy of these

regulations (45 CFR 46, Protection of Human Subjects) and those

pertaining specifically to children are available from the Office for

Protection from Research Risks, National Institutes of Health, Building

31, Room 5B59, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone (301) 496-7041.  Specific

questions concerning protection of human subjects in research may be

directed to the staff member listed under INQUIRIES.

An applicant organization proposing to conduct non-exempt research

involving human subjects must file an "Assurance of Compliance" with

the Office for Protection from Research Risks.  As part this Assurance,

which commits the applicant organization to comply with the DHHS

regulations, the applicant organization must appoint

an institutional review board that is required to review and approve

all non-exempt research activities involving human subjects


Applicants are to use the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 9/91).

The number and title of this announcement, "Research on Children of

Alcoholics - PA-92-74," must be typed in item 2a on the face page of

the PHS 398 application form

Application kits containing the necessary forms and instructions (PHS

398) may be obtained from business offices or offices of sponsored

research at most universities, colleges, medical schools, and other

major research facilities.  If such a source is not available, the

following office may be contacted for the necessary application


National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

P 0. Box 2345

Rockville, MD  20852

Telephone:  (301) 468-2600 or 1-800-729-6686

The signed original and five permanent, legible copies of the completed

application must be sent to:

Division of Research Grants

National Institutes of Health

Westwood Building, Room 240

Bethesda, MD  20892

Applicants from institutions that have a General Clinical Research

Center (GCRC) funded by the NIH National Center for Research Resources

may wish to identify the GCRC as a resource for conducting the proposed

research.  In such a case, a letter of agreement from either the GCRC

program director or Principal Investigator must be included with the a



The Division of Research Grants, NIH, serves as a central point for

receipt of applications for most discretionary PHS grant programs.

Applications received under this announcement will be assigned to an

Initial Review Group (IRG) in accordance with established PHS Referral

Guidelines. The IRGs, consisting primarily of non-Federal scientific

and technical experts, will review the applications for scientific and

technical merit.  Notification of the review recommendations will be

sent to the applicant after the initial review. Applications will

receive a second-level review by an appropriate National Advisory

Council.  Only applications recommended by a council may be considered

for funding.

Application Receipt and Review Schedule

Applications will be accepted and reviewed according to the following


Receipt Dates     Initial     Advisory        Earliest

New/Renewal       Review    Council Review    Start Date

Feb 1/Mar 1*       May/Jun     Sep/Oct         Dec 1

Jun 1/Jul 1*       Oct/Nov     Jan/Feb         Apr 1

Oct 1/Nov 1*       Feb/Mar     May/Jun         Jul 1

* Competing continuation, supplemental, and revised applications are to

be submitted on these dates.

Consequences of Late Submission

Applications received after the above receipt dates may be returned to

the applicant without review or assigned to the next review cycle if

requested by the applicant.


Criteria for scientific/technical merit review of research grant (R01)

applications will include the following:

o  The overall scientific and technical merit and significance of the

proposed research.

o  The appropriateness and adequacy of the experimental design,

including the adequacy of the methodology proposed for collection and

analysis of data.

o  The adequacy of the qualifications (including level of education and

training) and relevant research experience of the Principal

Investigator and key research personnel.

o  The availability of adequate facilities, general environment for the

conduct of proposed research, other resources, and any collaborative

arrangements necessary for the research.

o  The appropriateness of budget estimates for the proposed research


o  Where applicable, the adequacy of procedures to protect or minimize

possible adverse effects on humans, animals, or the environment.

o  Conformance of the application to the NIH and ADAMHA policy on

inclusion of women and minorities in study populations.

The review criteria for small grants (R03), exploratory/developmental

grants (R21), and FIRST Awards (R29) are contained in the relevant

program announcements.


Applications recommended by a National Advisory Council will be

considered for funding on the basis of overall scientific and technical

merit of the research as determined by peer review, program needs and

balance, and availability of funds.


Potential applicants are encouraged to seek preapplication consultation

and may contact either one of the individuals listed blow for

consultation in preparing an application under this announcement.

Direct inquires relating to program issues to:

Cherry Lowman, Ph.D.

Treatment Research Branch

Division of Clinical and Prevention Research

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

5600 Fishers Lane, Room 14C-20

Rockville, MD  20857

Telephone.  (301) 443-0796

Jan Howard, Ph.D.

Prevention Research Branch

Division of Clinical and Prevention Research

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

5600 Fishers Lane, Room 13C-23

Rockville, MD  20857

Telephone:  (301) 443-1677

Inquiries relating to fiscal matters are to be directed to:

Joseph Weeda

Chief, Grants Management Branch

Office of Planning and Resource Management

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

5600 Fishers Lane, Room 16-86

Rockville, MD  20857

Telephone:  (301) 443-4703


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic

Assistance, No. 93.273.  Awards are made under the authority of

Sections 301 and 510 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (42

USC 241 and 290bb).  Federal regulations at 42 CFR Part 52, "Grants for

Research Projects," and Title 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 generic

requirements concerning the administration of grants, are applicable to

these awards.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental

review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency



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