Assessing elements of a family approach to reduce adolescent drinking frequency: parent-adolescent relationship, knowledge management and keeping secrets: Family characteristics and adolescent drinking

Mark Mccann, Oliver Perra, Aisling Mclaughlin, Claire Mccartan, Kathryn Higgins

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21 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Aims
To estimate (1) the associations between parent–adolescent relationship, parental knowledge and subsequent adolescent drinking frequency and (2) the influence of alcohol use on parental knowledge.

Design
Path analysis of school based cohort study with annual surveys.

Setting
Post-primary schools from urban and intermediate/rural areas in Northern Ireland.

Participants
A total of 4937 post-primary school students aged approximately 11 years in 2000 followed until approximately age 16 years in 2005.

Measurements
Pupil-reported measures of: frequency of alcohol use; parent–child relationship quality; subdimensions of parental monitoring: parental control, parental solicitation, child disclosure and child secrecy.

Findings
Higher levels of parental control [ordinal logistic odds ratio (OR) = 0.86, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.78, 0.95] and lower levels of child secrecy (OR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.75, 0.92) were associated subsequently with less frequent alcohol use. Parental solicitation and parent–child relationship quality were not associated with drinking frequency. Weekly alcohol drinking was associated with higher subsequent secrecy (beta −0.42, 95% CI = –0.53, −0.32) and lower parental control (beta −0.15, 95% CI = –0.26, −0.04). Secrecy was more strongly predictive of alcohol use at younger compared with older ages (P = 0.02), and alcohol use was associated less strongly with parental control among families with poorer relationships (P = 0.04).

Conclusions
Adolescent alcohol use appears to increase as parental control decreases and child secrecy increases. Greater parental control is associated with less frequent adolescent drinking subsequently, while parent–child attachment and parental solicitation have little influence on alcohol use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-853
JournalAddiction
Volume111
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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