Adolescent alcohol use has been linked with a multitude of problems and a trajectory predictive of problematic use in adulthood. Thus, targeting factors that enhance early prevention efforts is vital. The current study highlights variables that mitigate or predict alcohol use and heavy episodic drinking. Using Monitoring the Future (MTF) data, multiple path analytic models revealed links between parental involvement and alcohol abstinence and initiation. Parental involvement predicted enhanced self-esteem and less self-derogation and was negatively associated with peer alcohol norms for each MTF grade sampled, with stronger associations for 8th and 10th graders than 12th graders. For younger groups, self-esteem predicted increased perceptions of alcohol risk and reduced drinking. Self-derogation was associated with peers’ pro-alcohol norms, which was linked to lower risk perceptions, lower personal disapproval of use, and increased drinking. Peer influence had a stronger association with consumption for 8th and 10th graders, whereas 12th graders’ drinking was related to personal factors of alcohol risk perception and disapproval. In all grades, general alcohol use had a strong connection to heavy episodic drinking within the past 2 weeks. Across-grade variations in association of parent, peer, and personal factors suggest the desirability of tailored interventions focused on specific factors for each grade level, with the overall goal of attenuating adolescent alcohol use.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 26, 2016
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