Alcohol segment-specific associations between the quality of the parent-child relationship and adolescent alcohol use

J.J.P. Mathijssen, M.M. Janssen, M.J.H. van Bon-Martens, J.A.M. van Oers, E. de Boer, Henk Garretsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background
There is much evidence that parents have an influence on the alcohol use of their children. However, in general the relationship is rather weak. A reason for this small association may be due to the fact that adolescents are a heterogeneous group and that, consequently, the association between the quality of the parent–child relationship and alcohol use varies for diverse subgroups, resulting in an overall small effect. In an earlier study we found five different segments for adolescents regarding their attitude towards alcohol. This article reports on a study into the differences between these segments with respect to the quality of the parent–child relationship and parental attitudes to alcohol. Moreover, we examined segment-specific associations of the quality of the parent–child relationship and alcohol use.
Methods
This study used data from a survey held among adolescents aged 12 to 18. A random sample of 59,073 adolescents was drawn from 67 municipalities in the south of the Netherlands. To assign respondents into one of the five segments, a questionnaire of 28 items concerning alcohol and approval from others from the original segmenting study was included in the internet version. Therefore, only the results of the internet version (N = 12,375 adolescents) were analysed.
Results
Both the quality of the parent–child relationship and the attitude of the parents towards the drinking behaviour of their children differed between the segments. Significant associations were found between the quality of the parent–child relationship and life-time and recent alcohol use and binge drinking. The interaction between the quality of the parent–child relationship and the segments was only significant for binge drinking.
Conclusions
The quality of the parent–child relationship seemed to be most strongly associated with life-time alcohol use, suggesting that parents appear to play the most important role in the prevention of alcohol use. Moreover, the results showed segment-specific associations between the quality of the parent–child relationship and binge drinking, indicating that the role of parents in heavy drinking is different for the various segments.
Keywords: Audience segmentation, Parent-adolescent relationship, Alcohol-specific rules, Adolescent alcohol use
Original languageEnglish
Article number872
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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