Journal of Public Health

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 132–138

Associations between mother’s level of education and offspring’s smoking and alcohol use in adulthood: a 28-year longitudinal follow-up study

Original Article

Abstract

Aims

The aim of this study was to examine the association between changes in mother’s education level during early childrearing years with offspring’s tobacco and alcohol (TA) use in adulthood. It was hypothesised that use of TA is lower among offspring whose mothers improve their level of education compared with offspring for whom mother’s education level does not increase.

Subjects and methods

Information on TA use among 1,015 adults (from a national survey in 1998; response rate 72.7%) was linked with information on their mother’s education levels recorded in the National Education Register from 28 to 8 years earlier (mother’s education in 1970 and change in level of education from 1970 to 1990).

Results

Multiple logistic regression revealed an inverse association between increase in maternal education level and risk of high alcohol use among female offspring. Higher level of mother’s education measured in 1970 was associated with lower risk of daily smoking and lower risk of moderate and high levels of alcohol use among male and female offspring.

Conclusion

Low level of tobacco and alcohol consumption among adult offspring is influenced by mother’s level of education. Research on social inequalities in health behaviour should include more attention to the possible effects of mother’s social mobility during childrearing years.

Keywords

Education Tobacco Alcohol Mothers Adult offspring Longitudinal 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Centre for Health PromotionUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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