A matter of rules? A longitudinal study of parents’ influence on young people’s drinking trajectories

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Based on longitudinal survey data (2005, 2008, 2015), this paper investigates binge drinking among young people in Denmark. We analyse the relationship between parental alcohol rules in 2005 and the development of their children's heavy episodic drinking from age 15 to 25/26 using a multilevel approach to repeated measures. Two hypotheses are tested. The first is that young people from families with "strict" alcohol rules have a lower level of binge drinking than young people from families with lenient rules. However, given the cultural pressure on adolescents to drink heavily in Denmark, we also expect parents to face challenges when trying to limit their children's drinking. Hence, our second hypothesis is that youths with strict alcohol rules at age 15 show the steepest increase in heavy episodic drinking when going from early to late adolescence and thus gradually catch up with young people who had lenient rules. Both our hypotheses are confirmed: Strict alcohol-specific rules are associated with lower rates of binge drinking, but with time young people with strict rules close in on their peers' alcohol use.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Addiction Research
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)206-215
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 201006712