Skip to main content

The Influence of Alcohol-Specific Communication on Adolescent Alcohol Use and Alcohol-Related Consequences

Abstract

Alcohol-specific communication, a direct conversation between an adult and an adolescent regarding alcohol use, contains messages about alcohol relayed from the adult to the child. The current study examined the construct of alcohol-specific communication and the effect of messages on adolescent alcohol use and alcohol-related consequences. Parent-adolescent dyads were assessed biannually for 3 years (grades 9–11 at wave 6) to examine these relations in a large longitudinal study of adolescents initially in grades 6 through 8. An exploratory factor analysis identified two factors among alcohol-specific communication items, permissive messages and negative alcohol messages. Results showed previous level of adolescent alcohol use moderated the relation between permissive messages and alcohol use outcomes. Plotting of these interactions showed greater alcohol use and consequences with increasing permissive messages in adolescents with higher versus lower levels of previous alcohol use. Results suggest that parental messages regarding alcohol use may impact adolescent alcohol use beyond the effect of general parenting style and parental alcohol use.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Andrews, J. A., Hops, H., Ary, D. V., Tildesley, E., & Harris, J. (1993). Parental influence on early adolescent substance use: Specific and nonspecific effects. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 13, 285–310. doi:10.1177/0272431693013003004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bauman, K. E., Ennett, S. T., Foshee, V. A., Pemberton, M., King, T. S., & Koch, G. G. (2002). Influence of a family program on adolescent smoking and drinking prevalence. Prevention Science, 3, 35–42. doi:10.1023/A:1014619325968.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 11, 56–95. doi:10.1177/0272431691111004.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bodner, T. E. (2008). What improves with increased missing data imputations? Structural Equation Modeling, 15, 651–675. doi:10.1080/10705510802339072.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Booth-Butterfield, M., & Sidelinger, R. (1998). The influence of family communication on the college-aged child: Openness, attitudes and actions about sex and alcohol. Communication Quarterly, 46, 295–308.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brody, G. H., Murry, V. M., Gerrard, M., Gibbons, F. X., Molgaard, V., McNair, L., et al. (2004). The Strong African American Families program: Translating research into prevention programming. Child Development, 75, 900–917. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00713.x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ennett, S. T., Bauman, K. E., Foshee, V. A., Pemberton, M., & Hicks, K. A. (2001). Parent-child communication about adolescent tobacco and alcohol use: What do parents say and does it affect youth behavior? Journal of Marriage and the Family, 63, 48–62. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2001.00048.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Freire, K. E. (2008). Influence of parental socialization on adolescent alcohol misuse (ProQuest Information & Learning). Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 69, 2267.

    Google Scholar 

  • Friedman, A. S., Glickman, N. W., & Morrissey, M. R. (1990). What mothers know about their adolescents’ alcohol/drug use and problems, and how mothers react to finding out about it. In A. S. Friedman & S. Granick (Eds.), Family therapy for adolescent drug abuse (pp. 169–181). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gorsuch, R. L. (1983). Factor analysis. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Graham, J. W., Olchowski, A. E., & Gilreath, T. D. (2007). How many imputations are really needed? Some practical clarifications of mutliple imputation theory. Prevention Science, 8, 206–213. doi:10.1007/s11121-007-0070-9.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harris, K. M., Halpern, C. T., Whitsel, E., Hussey, J., Tabor, J., Entzel, P., et al., 2009. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health: Research Design [WWW document]. http://www.cpc.unc.edu/projects/addhealth/design..

  • Hill, N. E., & Tyson, D. F. (2008). Excavating culture: Ethnicity and context as predictors of parenting behavior. Applied Developmental Science, 12, 188–197. doi:10.1080/10888690802388110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holbrook, A. L., Green, M. C., & Krosnick, J. A. (2003). Telephone versus face-to-face interviewing of national probability samples with long questionnaires: Comparisons of respondent satisficing and social desirability response bias. Public Opinion Quarterly, 67, 79–125. doi:10.1086/346010.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, C., Henriksen, L., & Foshee, V. A. (1998). The Authoritative Parenting Index: Predicting health risk behaviors among children and adolescents. Health Education & Behavior, 25, 319–337. doi:10.1177/109019819802500307.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Jackson, C., Henriksen, L., & Dickinson, D. (1999). Alcohol-specific socialization, parenting behaviors and alcohol use by children. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 60, 362–367.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2009). Monitoring the Future national results on adolescent drug use: Overview of key findings, 2008 (NIH Publication No. 09-7401). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

  • King, K. M., & Chassin, L. (2007). A prospective study of the effects of age of initiation of alcohol and drug use on young adult substance dependence. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 68, 256–265.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Miller-Day, M. (2002). Parent-adolescent communication about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. Journal of Adolescent Research, 17, 604–616. doi:10.1177/074355802237466.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miller-Day, M. (2008). Talking to youth about drugs: What do late adolescents say about parental strategies? Family Relations, 57, 1–12. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3729.2007.00478.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miller-Day, M., & Dodd, A. H. (2004). Toward a descriptive model of parent-offspring communication about alcohol and other drugs. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 21, 69–91. doi:10.1177/0265407504039846.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Office of National Drug Control Policy. (n.d.). National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. Retrieved June 7, 2009, from http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/mediacampaign/index.html.

  • Richman, W. L., Kiesler, S., Weisband, S., & Drasgow, F. (1999). A meta-analytic study of social desirability distortion in computer-administered questionnaires, traditional questionnaires, and interviews. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 754–775. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.84.5.754.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • SAS Institute Inc. (2009). SAS documentation, Version 9.2. Cary, NC: SAS Institute Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shakib, S., Mouttapa, M., Johnson, C. A., Ritt-Olson, A., Trinidad, D. R., Gallaher, P. E., et al. (2003). Ethnic variation in parenting characteristics and adolescent smoking. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 33, 88–97. doi:10.1016/S1054-139X(03)00140-X.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spijkerman, R., van den Eijnden, R. J. J. M., & Huiberts, A. (2008). Socioeconomic differences in alcohol-specific parenting practices and adolescents’ drinking patterns. European Addiction Research, 14, 26–37. doi:10.1159/000110408.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2006. NSDUH Series H-30, DHHS publication SMA 06-4194.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2007). The Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent and reduce underage drinking: A guide to action for educators. Retrieved from http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/underagedrinking/educatorguide.pdf.

  • van der Vorst, H., Engels, R. C. M. E., Meeus, W., Dekovic, M., & Van Leeuwe, J. (2005). The role of alcohol-specific socialization in adolescents’ drinking behaviour. Addiction, 100, 1464–1476. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01193.x.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • van der Vorst, H., Engels, R. C. M. E., Meeus, W., & Dekovic, M. (2006). The impact of alcohol-specific rules, parental norms about early drinking and parental alcohol use on adolescents’ drinking behavior. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 1299–1306.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • van der Vorst, H., Engels, R. C. M. E., Dekovic, M., Meeus, W., & Vermulst, A. A. (2007). Alcohol-specific rules, personality and adolescents’ alcohol use: A longitudinal person-environment study. Addiction, 102, 1064–1075. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2007.01855.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Williams, R. J., McDermitt, D. R., Bertrand, L. D., & Davis, R. M. (2003). Parental awareness of adolescent substance use. Addictive Behaviors, 28, 803–809. doi:10.1016/S0306-4603(01)00275-1.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wood, M. D., Read, J. P., Mitchell, R. E., & Brand, N. H. (2004). Do parents still matter? Parent and peer influences on alcohol involvement among recent high school graduates. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 18, 19–30. doi:10.1037/0893-164X.18.1.19.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alison Reimuller.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Reimuller, A., Hussong, A. & Ennett, S.T. The Influence of Alcohol-Specific Communication on Adolescent Alcohol Use and Alcohol-Related Consequences. Prev Sci 12, 389–400 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-011-0227-4

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-011-0227-4

Keywords

  • Alcohol-specific
  • Communication
  • Messages
  • Alcohol use
  • Adolescent