Most adolescents have their first encounter with alcohol in early or middle adolescence. Parents’ rule setting about alcohol has been shown to be important to delay the onset and reduce the frequency of adolescents’ alcohol drinking, but less is known about the potential role of parents’ beliefs about their competence in and ability to influence their adolescents’ drinking habits (i.e., parental self-efficacy [PSE], Bandura (Psychological Review, 84, 191–215, 1977). In this study, we examined the direction of influence between parents’ rule setting and PSE as outcomes of the program “Prevention of Alcohol use in Students” (PAS), a prevention program aiming to reduce underage drinking by targeting parents and adolescents both separately and in a combined intervention. We tested two mediation processes in which the program would (a) have a direct effect on PSE, which in turn would increase parents’ rule setting or (b) have a direct effect on parents’ rule setting, which in turn would increase PSE. To examine these processes, we used a sample of 2562 parent-adolescent dyads (age 12 at baseline), followed annually over 3 years. The results showed that the combined intervention increased PSE via an increase in parents’ rule setting. No significant effect of the intervention on rules about alcohol via PSE was found. This is the first study to test the mediation processes involving PSE and parental rule setting in an experimental context where parenting practices are being actively changed. The results suggest that giving parents concrete advice on how to deal with alcohol drinking in their adolescents and at the same time helping adolescents to develop healthy attitudes about alcohol drinking have a positive influence on parents’ self-efficacy.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 19, 2015
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