Alcohol-specific communication, a direct conversation between an adult and an adolescent regarding alcohol use, contains messages about alcohol relayed from the adult to the child. The current study examined the construct of alcohol-specific communication and the effect of messages on adolescent alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences. Parent-adolescent dyads were assessed biannually for 3 years (grades 9–11 at wave 6) to examine these relations in a large longitudinal study of adolescents initially in grades 6 through 8. An exploratory factor analysis identified two factors among alcohol-specific communication items, permissive messages and negative alcohol messages. Results showed previous level of adolescent alcohol use moderated the relation between permissive messages and alcohol use outcomes. Plotting of these interactions showed greater alcohol use and consequences with increasing permissive messages in adolescents with higher versus lower levels of previous alcohol use. Results suggest that parental messages regarding alcohol use may impact adolescent alcohol use beyond the effect of general parenting style and parental alcohol use.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 11, 2011
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