While school engagement and the use of alcohol are subject to change during the course of adolescence, studies have shown that being engaged in school equates with a later onset of alcohol consumption. Cross-sectional studies also indicate that alcohol use correlates to school engagement, but the reciprocal nature of these factors has never been investigated. This study examines the reciprocal relation between school engagement and alcohol consumption during adolescence. Further, the moderating effect of perceived parental support in this reciprocal relation between school engagement and alcohol consumption is tested. Data were obtained from Dutch high school students (n = 906, 52.5 % boys, mean age = 12.19 years) who annually completed a digital questionnaire over 4 years (age 12 to 15). A cross-lagged autoregressive model was applied in AMOS. Results showed that more school engagement at ages 12 and 14 predicted lower levels of alcohol use 1 year later. In addition, more alcohol consumption at ages 12 and 14 predicted lower levels of school engagement 1 year later. Higher school engagement at age 13 predicted less alcohol use at age 14, whereas no significant effect of alcohol use on school engagement was found at this age period. Furthermore, a reciprocal relation was found only for adolescents who perceived high parental support. The reciprocal nature of school engagement and alcohol consumption should be a consideration in future research and prevention program development.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 4, 2015
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