A Multidimensional Model of Mothers’ Perceptions of Parent Alcohol Socialization and Adolescent Alcohol Misuse

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We assessed a multidimensional model of parent alcohol socialization in which key socialization factors were considered simultaneously to identify combinations of factors that increase or decrease risk for development of adolescent alcohol misuse. Of interest was the interplay between putative risk and protective factors, such as whether the typically detrimental effects on youth drinking of parenting practices tolerant of some adolescent alcohol use are mitigated by an effective overall approach to parenting and parental modeling of modest alcohol use. The sample included 1,530 adolescents and their mothers; adolescents’ mean age was 13.0 (SD = .99) at the initial assessment. Latent profile analysis was conducted of mothers’ reports of their attitude toward teen drinking, alcohol-specific parenting practices, parental alcohol use and problem use, and overall approach to parenting. The profiles were used to predict trajectories of adolescent alcohol misuse from early to middle adolescence. Four profiles were identified: 2 profiles reflected conservative alcohol-specific parenting practices and 2 reflected alcohol-tolerant practices, all in the context of other attributes. Alcohol misuse accelerated more rapidly from Grade 6 through 10 in the 2 alcohol-tolerant compared with conservative profiles. Results suggest that maternal tolerance of some youth alcohol use, even in the presence of dimensions of an effective parenting style and low parental alcohol use and problem use, is not an effective strategy for reducing risky adolescent alcohol use.

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