The importance of family management, closeness with father and family structure in early adolescent alcohol use

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT Aims 

To examine the importance of family management, family structure and father–adolescent relationships on early adolescent alcohol use. Design 

Cross-sectional data was collected across 30 randomly selected Australian communities stratified to represent a range of socio-economic and regional variation. Setting 

Data were collected during school time from adolescents attending a broad range of schools. Participants 

The sample consisted of a combined 8256 students (aged 10–14 years). Measurements 

Students completed a web-based survey as part of the Healthy Neighbourhoods project. Findings 

Family management—which included practices such as parental monitoring and family rules about alcohol use—had the strongest and most consistent relationship with alcohol use in early adolescence. Adolescents reporting higher family management were less likely to have drunk alcohol in their life-time, less likely to drink alcohol in the preceding 30 days and less likely to have had an alcohol binge. Adolescents reporting emotionally close relationships with their fathers were less likely to have drunk alcohol in their life-time and less likely to have had an alcohol binge in the preceding fortnight. Conclusions 

Findings indicate that family management practices may contribute to alcohol abstinence in adolescents. Furthermore, emotionally close father–adolescent relationships may also foster abstinence; however, fathers’ drinking behaviours need to be considered.

Keywords: Alcohol; early adolescent; family; father closeness

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03021.x

Affiliations: 1: School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong Waterfront Campus, Victoria, Australia and 2: Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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