Gender differences in the impact of families on alcohol use: a lagged longitudinal study of early adolescents
Article first published online: 12 MAY 2011
© 2011 The Authors, Addiction © 2011 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 106, Issue 8, pages 1427–1436, August 2011
How to Cite
Kelly, A. B., O'Flaherty, M., Toumbourou, J. W., Connor, J. P., Hemphill, S. A. and Catalano, R. F. (2011), Gender differences in the impact of families on alcohol use: a lagged longitudinal study of early adolescents. Addiction, 106: 1427–1436. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03435.x
- Issue published online: 12 JUL 2011
- Article first published online: 12 MAY 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 25 MAR 2011 05:21AM EST
- Submitted 15 November 2010; initial review completed 27 January 2011; final version accepted 13 March 2011
Aims From the pre-teen to the mid-teen years, rates of alcohol use and misuse increase rapidly. Cross-sectional research shows that positive family emotional climate (low conflict, high closeness) is protective, and there is emerging evidence that these protective mechanisms are different for girls versus boys. The aim of this study was to explore gender differences in the longitudinal impact of family emotional climate on adolescent alcohol use and exposure to peer drinking networks.
Design Three-wave two-level (individual, within-individual over time) ordinal logistic regression with alcohol use in the past year as the dependent measure and family variables lagged by 1 year.
Setting Adolescents completed surveys during school hours.
Participants A total of 855 Australian students (modal age 10–11 years at baseline) participating in the International Youth Development Study (Victoria, Australia).
Measurements These included emotional closeness to mother/father, family conflict, parent disapproval of alcohol use and peer alcohol use.
Findings For girls, the effect of emotional closeness to mothers on alcohol use was mediated by exposure to high-risk peer networks. Parent disapproval of alcohol use was protective for both genders, but this effect was larger for boys versus girls, and there was no evidence that peer use mediated this effect. Peer drinking networks showed stronger direct risk effects than family variables.
Conclusions Family factors unidirectionally impact on growth in adolescent alcohol use and effects vary with child gender.