Binge drinking is associated with many health and financial costs and is linked to risks of legal consequences. As alcohol use typically is initiated during adolescence, the current study assessed the relationship between parental behaviors and strategies in forecasting adolescents’ likelihood of binge drinking and later arrest. Restricted data from waves I–IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used to assess hypotheses. A weighted path analytic model (N = 9421) provided a multifaceted picture of variables linked to later antisocial behavior. Low parental monitoring, low parental warmth, parent alcohol use, and parent expectancies regarding their children’s alcohol use were associated with higher incidence of adolescent binge drinking. In turn, low monitoring, low warmth, parent alcohol use, parent expectancies, and underage consumption were associated with binge drinking in early adulthood. Binge drinking during both adolescence and young adulthood were predictive of respondents’ likelihood of arrest 8–14 years later. Findings demonstrated the substantial, enduring effects of parental behaviors on child alcohol-related actions and have implications for parent-targeted interventions designed to reduce excessive alcohol consumption. They suggest campaigns focus on parenting strategies that involve setting effective and strict alcohol-related rules and guidelines, while maintaining a warm and supportive family environment.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: May 13, 2016
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