Why target early adolescents and parents in alcohol prevention? The mediating effects of self-control, rules and attitudes about alcohol use
Version of Record online: 9 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Authors, Addiction © 2010 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 106, Issue 3, pages 538–546, March 2011
How to Cite
Koning, I. M., van den Eijnden, R. J. J. M., Engels, R. C. M. E., Verdurmen, J. E. E. and Vollebergh, W. A. M. (2011), Why target early adolescents and parents in alcohol prevention? The mediating effects of self-control, rules and attitudes about alcohol use. Addiction, 106: 538–546. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03198.x
- Issue online: 7 FEB 2011
- Version of Record online: 9 NOV 2010
- Accepted manuscript online: 15 SEP 2010 05:03PM EST
- Submitted 2 December 2009; initial review completed 18 February 2010; final version accepted 9 September 2010
- Alcohol use;
- early adolescents;
- randomized trial
Aims To examine the effects of a parent and student intervention offered separately and simultaneously (PAS) on onset of weekly drinking via its putative mediators.
Design A randomized trial with four conditions; (1) parent intervention, (2) student intervention, (3) combined parent–student intervention and (4) control group.
Setting High schools selected randomly, located in different areas.
Participants A total of 2937 early adolescents (mean age = 12.6, standard deviation = 0.49) and their parents.
Measurements Mediation effects were analysed using pretest data and two follow-up measurements (10 and 22 months after baseline). A path model was estimated (Mplus) to examine the effect of the interventions on adolescent-reported mediators (self-control, perceived parental rules and attitudes about alcohol) and parent-reported mediators (parental rules and attitudes about alcohol). Outcome was onset of weekly drinking.
Findings The parent intervention modified rules and attitudes about alcohol as reported by parents. An indirect effect of the parent intervention via parental rules was found. The combined intervention affected both adolescent-reported and parent-reported rules and attitudes about alcohol and adolescents' perceived self-control, yet only perceived rules and self-efficacy, as reported by adolescents, and parental attitudes mediated the association between the combined intervention and onset of weekly drinking. No significant effects were found of the separate student intervention on the mediating factors.
Conclusions The PAS programme proved to be effective as predicted by the theoretical assumptions underlying the interventions. Interventions with parents and adolescents to prevent adolescent alcohol consumption may usefully target parental rules about alcohol and adolescents' self-confidence.