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To examine the bi-directional associations between providing alcohol-specific rules and adolescents' alcohol use. Further, to explore person–environment interactions, we tested whether Big Five personality traits moderate the assumed association between providing alcohol-specific rules and adolescents' alcohol use.Longitudinal data (three waves in 2 years) from 428 families, consisting of both parents and two adolescents (aged 13–16 years) were used for the analyses. Analyses were conducted on four samples: a group of older adolescents and a group of younger adolescents who already consumed alcohol, and a group of older and younger adolescents who were not drinking at baseline measurement.In general, results of structural equation modelling showed that providing clear alcohol-specific rules lowers the likelihood of drinking initiation, regardless of the age of the youngsters. Once adolescents have established a drinking pattern, the impact of parental alcohol-specific rules declined or even disappeared. Finally, the Big Five personality traits did not moderate the association between providing alcohol-specific rules and adolescents' alcohol involvement.In sum, in particular during the initiation phase of drinking, parents could prevent the drinking of their offspring, regardless of the age or personality of their youngsters, by providing clear alcohol-specific rules.