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In the present study precursors (risk behavior, parental self-efficacy and parental awareness) of parental worries about their child’s behavior during adolescence (12–16 years) were examined. To this end, a new measure of parental worries about the child’s involvement in risk behavior is developed. Second, the effect of parental worries on adolescents’ alcohol use was tested and third whether ineffective alcohol-specific parenting mediated this effect. Longitudinal data including four waves from 703 parent–adolescent (M age = 12.2 years, SD = 0.5) dyads were used to conduct latent path and growth analysis in Mplus. Results showed that parental awareness, confidence in the effectiveness of their parenting practices and adolescent risk behavior at age 12 related to higher levels of worries in parents. Furthermore, more parental worries predicted an increase in adolescents’ drinking (slope), yet worries did not predict the amount of drinking at age 12 (intercept). In addition, parental worries predicted less restrictive rule setting and a lower quality of communication. This ineffective parenting accounted for the effect of parental worries on adolescent alcohol use. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that worries about risk behavior of their child uniquely contribute to higher drinking rates due to less effective parenting. These findings implicate that alcohol interventions should provide parents with effective leads to tackle the drinking behavior in their children (e.g. strict rules about alcohol).
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- Don’t Worry! Parental Worries, Alcohol-Specific Parenting and Adolescents’ Drinking
Ina M. Koning
Regina J. van den Eijnden
Wilma A. Vollebergh
- Springer US