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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Using Parental Profiles to Predict Membership in a Subset of College Students Experiencing Excessive Alcohol Consequences: Findings From a Longitudina

Previous research identified a high-risk subset of college students experiencing a disproportionate number of alcohol-related consequences at the end of their first year. With the goal of identifying pre-college predictors of membership in this high-risk subset, the present study used a prospective design to identify latent profiles of student-reported maternal and paternal parenting styles and alcohol-specific behaviors and to determine whether these profiles were associated with membership in the high-risk consequences subset.

A sample of randomly selected 370 incoming first-year students at a large public university reported on their mothers' and fathers' communication quality, monitoring, approval of alcohol use, and modeling of drinking behaviors and on consequences experienced across the first year of college.

Students in the high-risk subset comprised 15.5% of the sample but accounted for almost half (46.6%) of the total consequences reported by the entire sample. Latent profile analyses identified four parental profiles: positive pro-alcohol, positive anti-alcohol, negative mother, and negative father. Logistic regression analyses revealed that students in the negative-father profile were at greatest odds of being in the high-risk consequences subset at a follow-up assessment 1 year later, even after drinking at baseline was controlled for. Students in the positive pro-alcohol profile also were at increased odds of being in the high-risk subset, although this association was attenuated after baseline drinking was controlled for.

These findings have important implications for the improvement of existing parent- and individual-based college student drinking interventions designed to reduce alcohol-related consequences.

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