Family relationship quality and early alcohol use: Evidence for gender-specific risk processes

Kelly, Adrian B., Toumbourou, John W., O’Flaherty, Martin, Patton, George C., Homel, Ross, Connor, Jason P. and Williams, Joanne (2011) Family relationship quality and early alcohol use: Evidence for gender-specific risk processes. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 72 3: 399-407.

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Author Kelly, Adrian B.
Toumbourou, John W.
O’Flaherty, Martin
Patton, George C.
Homel, Ross
Connor, Jason P.
Williams, Joanne
Title Family relationship quality and early alcohol use: Evidence for gender-specific risk processes
Journal name Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1937-1888
Publication date 2011-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 72
Issue 3
Start page 399
End page 407
Total pages 9
Place of publication United States
Publisher Alcohol Research Documentation
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Family characteristics (relationship quality, parental behaviors, and attitudes relating to alcohol use) are known to influence alcohol use in the mid-teen years, and there is evidence that family characteristics have different influences on mid-teen girls versus boys. This study examined child gender differences in the association of family relationship quality, parental disapproval of children's alcohol use, and parental alcohol use with early adolescent alcohol use.

Method: Grade 6 and 8 students (modal age 11 and 13, respectively; N = 6,837; 52.6% female) were recruited from 231 schools across three Australian states. Hypotheses were tested using two-level ordinal logistic regression (individuals nested within schools). The main dependent measure was lifetime frequency of early adolescent alcohol consumption. Independent variables included mother's/father's alcohol use, closeness, conflict, and disapproval of adolescent alcohol use. Control variables included sensation seeking, peer alcohol use, and socioeconomic disadvantage.

Results: The key findings were that for the young age group (Grade 6), emotional closeness to the parent of the opposite sex was protective. Family conflict was associated with females' drinking in both age groups but not males' drinking.

Conclusions: There was evidence of gender differences in the epidemiology of family relationship quality and early alcohol use. Social developmental models may need revision to account for these child gender differences. Gender-specific family dynamics may be an important consideration for family-oriented prevention strategy.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Created: Thu, 20 Oct 2011, 23:24:08 EST by Adrian Kelly on behalf of Centre for Youth Substance Abuse