1. Alcohol abuse is a chronic disease in which a person continues using alcohol despite problems caused or worsened by its use and in dangerous situations. Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism, is a chronic, progressive disease characterized by frequent use of excessive amounts of alcohol, increased tolerance, inability to cut down on use, and occurrence of withdrawal symptoms when a person attempts to give up alcohol use. Alcohol abuse and dependence are distinguished on the basis of the number and type of alcohol diagnostic criteria met as detailed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1987).
2. See Twaite (1998) for a discussion of the Disaster Theory of Divorce versus the Challenge Theory of Divorce. The former perspective paints a fairly bleak picture of children's adjustment post-divorce regardless of circumstances. The Challenge approach posits that the effects of a divorce can be either negative or positive, depending on circumstances and perceptions following the divorce.