Drinking and Parenting Practices as Predictors of Impaired Driving Behaviors Among U.S. Adolescents

J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2014 Jan;75(1):5-15. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2014.75.5.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to identify the extent to which 10th-grade substance use and parenting practices predicted 11th-grade teenage driving while alcohol-/other drug-impaired (DWI) and riding with alcohol-/other drug-impaired drivers (RWI).

Method: The data were from Waves 1 and 2 of the NEXT Generation study, with longitudinal assessment of a nationally representative sample of 10th graders starting in 2009-2010. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to examine the prospective associations between proposed predictors (heavy episodic drinking, illicit drug use, parental monitoring knowledge and control) in Wave 1 and DWI/RWI.

Results: Heavy episodic drinking at Wave 1 predicted Wave 2 DWI (odds ratio [OR] = 3.73, p < .001) and RWI (OR = 3.92, p < .001) after controlling for parenting practices and selected covariates. Father's monitoring knowledge predicted lower DWI prevalence at Wave 2 when controlling for covariates and teenage substance use (OR = 0.66, p < .001). In contrast, mother's monitoring knowledge predicted lower RWI prevalence at Wave 2 when controlling for covariates only (OR = 0.67, p < .05), but the effect was reduced to nonsignificance when controlling for teen substance use.

Conclusions: Heavy episodic drinking predicted DWI and RWI. In addition, parental monitoring knowledge, particularly by fathers, was protective against DWI, independent of the effect of substance use. This suggests that the enhancement of parenting practices could potentially discourage adolescent DWI. The findings suggest that the parenting practices of fathers and mothers may have differential effects on adolescent impaired-driving behaviors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology