Prevention Science

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 606–614 | Cite as

The Enduring Impact of Parents’ Monitoring, Warmth, Expectancies, and Alcohol Use on Their Children’s Future Binge Drinking and Arrests: a Longitudinal Analysis

  • Candice D. Donaldson
  • Lindsay M. Handren
  • William D. Crano


Binge drinking is associated with many health and financial costs and is linked to risks of legal consequences. As alcohol use typically is initiated during adolescence, the current study assessed the relationship between parental behaviors and strategies in forecasting adolescents’ likelihood of binge drinking and later arrest. Restricted data from waves I–IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health were used to assess hypotheses. A weighted path analytic model (N = 9421) provided a multifaceted picture of variables linked to later antisocial behavior. Low parental monitoring, low parental warmth, parent alcohol use, and parent expectancies regarding their children’s alcohol use were associated with higher incidence of adolescent binge drinking. In turn, low monitoring, low warmth, parent alcohol use, parent expectancies, and underage consumption were associated with binge drinking in early adulthood. Binge drinking during both adolescence and young adulthood were predictive of respondents’ likelihood of arrest 8–14 years later. Findings demonstrated the substantial, enduring effects of parental behaviors on child alcohol-related actions and have implications for parent-targeted interventions designed to reduce excessive alcohol consumption. They suggest campaigns focus on parenting strategies that involve setting effective and strict alcohol-related rules and guidelines, while maintaining a warm and supportive family environment.


Underage drinking Binge drinking Arrests Parental influence 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


Funding for this study was supported in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant R01-DA032698. NIDA had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication. This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by a grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 17 other agencies. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Persons interested in obtaining Data Files from Add Health should contact Add Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center, 206 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-2524 ( No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board.

Informed Consent

The Add Health researchers obtained informed consent from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Candice D. Donaldson
    • 1
  • Lindsay M. Handren
    • 1
  • William D. Crano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyClaremont Graduate UniversityClaremontUSA

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