Parental problem drinking, parenting, and adolescent alcohol use

J Behav Med. 2008 Jun;31(3):189-200. doi: 10.1007/s10865-007-9146-z. Epub 2008 Jan 12.


The present study examined whether parental problem drinking affected parenting (i.e., behavioral control, support, rule-setting, alcohol-specific behavioral control), and whether parental problem drinking and parenting affected subsequent adolescent alcohol use over time. A total of 428 families, consisting of both parents and two adolescents (mean age 13.4 and 15.2 years at Time 1) participated in a three-wave longitudinal study with annual waves. A series of path analyses were conducted using a structural equation modeling program (Mplus). Results demonstrated that, unexpectedly, parental problem drinking was in general not associated with parenting. For the younger adolescents, higher levels of both parenting and parental problem drinking were related to lower engagement in drinking over time. This implies that shared environment factors (parenting and modeling effects) influence the development of alcohol use in young adolescents. When adolescents grow older, and move out of the initiation phase, their drinking behavior may be more affected by other factors, such as genetic susceptibility, and peer drinking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / psychology*
  • Child of Impaired Parents / psychology*
  • Child of Impaired Parents / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Peer Group
  • Risk Factors
  • Sibling Relations
  • Social Environment
  • Socialization*