, Volume 41, Issue 11, pp 1502-1511,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 22 May 2012

Developmental Alcohol-Specific Parenting Profiles in Adolescence and their Relationships with Adolescents’ Alcohol Use


Previous studies on general parenting have demonstrated the relevance of strict parenting within a supportive social context for a variety of adolescent behaviors, such as alcohol use. Yet, alcohol-specific parenting practices are generally examined as separate predictors of adolescents’ drinking behavior. The present study examined different developmental profiles of alcohol-specific parenting (rule-setting, quality and frequency of communication about alcohol use) and how these patterns relate to the initiation and growth of adolescents’ drinking. A longitudinal sample of 883 adolescents (47 % female) including four measurements (between ages 12 and 16) was used. Latent class growth analysis revealed that five classes of parenting could be distinguished. Communication about alcohol appeared to be fairly stable over time in all parenting classes, whereas the level of rule-setting declined in all subgroups of parents as adolescents grow older. Strict rule-setting in combination with a high quality and frequency of communication was associated with the lowest amount of drinking; parents scoring low on all these behaviors show to be related to the highest amount of drinking. This study showed that alcohol-specific rule-setting is most effective when it coincides with a good quality and frequency of communication about alcohol use. This indicates that alcohol-specific parenting behaviors should be taken into account as an alcohol-specific parenting context, rather than single parenting practices. Therefore, parent-based alcohol interventions should not only encourage strict rule setting, the way parents communicate with their child about alcohol is also of major importance.