This study compared sons of male alcoholics (SOMAs) who had no problems with those who were abusing substances, those who had school problems, those who were delinquent and those who were multiproblem. Corresponding groups of non-SOMAs were also included. Groups were compared at ages 6, 10, 12 and 14 years on teacher- and peer-rated aggressiveness, hyperactivity, inattention, anxiety and prosociality; parent-rated temperament; parents' disciplinary practices; school performance; family socio-economic status; self-reported substance (ab)use and delinquency; and school performance (from school records). Differences between SOMAs and non-SOMAs were small. According to teachers and peers, no problem SOMAs and nonSOMAs were less aggressive-oppositional, inattentive and hyperactive than problem SOMAs and nonSOMAs. These effects differed as a function of age, however. Also, no problem SOMAs and non-SOMAs performed better in school than boys in the problem groups. We discuss the relevance of these findings for identifying factors that render children resilient and for early screening to select truly at risk SOMAs for prevention programs.