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Do Parents and Best Friends Influence the Normative Increase in Adolescents' Alcohol Use at Home and Outside the Home?
Haske van der Vorst, Rutger C. M. E. Engels, William J. Burk
Objective: The present study explored the possible impact of parental supervision of adolescents' alcohol use and drinking with parents on concurrent and prospective associations between adolescents' drinking at home and drinking outside the home. The impact of drinking with their best friend, parental drinking behaviors, and sibling influence on adolescent alcohol use were also examined, as well as whether drinking at home and outside the home predicted problem drinking. Method: We used three waves of longitudinal full-family data (fathers, mothers, and two adolescent siblings; N = 428). Results: Bi-directional effects between drinking at home and drinking outside the home were found for both adolescents, with drinking in one setting predicting drinking in another setting over time. Both drinking at home and drinking outside the home predicted subsequent problem drinking. These associations did not differ as a function of adolescents drinking with parents or their best friend or of parental supervision of adolescents' alcohol use. Only adolescents' gender seemed to moderate these effects but solely in midadolescence. For 15-year-old boys (but not for girls), at-home drinking predicted outside-the-home drinking 1 year later. Conclusions: Taken together, adolescents' alcohol use increases over time, regardless of setting or with whom they drink. According to these results, prevention workers should focus on making parents more aware of their role in delaying the age at drinking onset. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 71, 105-114, 2010)