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frequent sexual intercourse ( Pietropinto, 1986 ), and a lack of sensitivity to
the feelings of others ( Engstrom & Juroe, 1979 ). Jackson (1992) found
that workaholics tend to be far more irritable at work and in their per-
sonal lives than those who were not work addicted.
In terms of the effect of the workaholism of parents on children,
Oates (1971) found that children saw their parents as preoccupied with
work, always in a rush to get somewhere, were often irritable and lacked
a sense of humor, and seemed to be depressed about their work.
Robinson (1989) found that many adult children of workaholics suffer
greater depression, higher anxiety, and greater obsessive-compulsive ten-
dencies than adult children of non-workaholics. A study comparing adult
children of workaholics with adult children of alcoholics ( Carroll &
Robinson, 2000 ) indicated that adult children of workaholics had higher
scores on depression than adults from alcoholic homes and adults from
non-workaholic homes.
To be fair, O'Driscoll and Brady (2004) reported that, although the
literature tended to suggest that workaholics have problems in their per-
sonal lives, the authors' research failed to find a great deal of difference
between the personal lives of workaholics and those of non-workaholics.
They point out that it's often difficult to differentiate between people
who are work addicted and those who just work hard because many of us
work very hard. Further, the term workaholic is often vague and may not
be used correctly. Our observations of retired people who exhibit worka-
holic characteristics is that many of them, if asked, have satisfying personal
relationships, but, when spouses and children are asked, they often talk
about the negative side of trying to maintain a relationship with someone
who puts all of his or her energy into work, and how little is left over for
them. Because there are certainly benefits of work addictions, including
affluence and status, many spouses and children put up with work addic-
tions because there is so much to gain from the labor of the workaholic
spouse and parent.
Workaholics are sometimes not the best candidates for counseling and
psychotherapy because they deny they have a problem. Cochran and
Rabinowitz (2003) argue that people with addictive personalities have
been culturally programmed to repress the emotional aspects of their pro-
blems. This pertains to all aspects of problems, including those in the
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