Drinking and driving among adolescents and young adults remains a significant public health burden. Etiological research is needed to inform the development and selection of preventive interventions that might reduce alcohol-involved crashes and their tragic consequences. Youth assets—that is, skills, competencies, relationships, and opportunities—can help youth overcome challenges, successfully transition into adulthood, and reduce problem behavior. We examined the predictive influence of individual, relationship, and community assets on drinking and driving (DD) and riding with a drinking driver (RDD). We assessed prospective relationships through analysis of data from the Youth Assets Study, a community-based longitudinal study of socio-demographically diverse youth. Results from calculation of marginal models using a Generalized Estimating Equation approach revealed that parent and peer relationship and school connectedness assets reduced the likelihood of both drinking and driving and riding with a drinking driver approximately 1 year later. The most important and consistent asset that influenced DD and RDD over time was parental monitoring, highlighting the role of parental influence extending beyond the immediate teen driving context into young adulthood. Parenting-focused interventions could influence factors that place youth at risk for injury from DD to RDD, complementing other evidence-based strategies such as school-based instructional programs and zero tolerance Blood Alcohol Concentration laws for young and inexperienced drivers.
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Funding support for the Youth Assets Study was provided to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC; Cooperative Agreement # 5 U01 DP0001320) and the Inasmuch Foundation; additional funding was provided to Oman and Vesely for supplemental analysis to support this manuscript.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Insamuch Foundation.
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Haegerich, T.M., Shults, R.A., Oman, R.F. et al. The Predictive Influence of Youth Assets on Drinking and Driving Behaviors in Adolescence and Young Adulthood. J Primary Prevent 37, 231–245 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10935-016-0418-7