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Friday, August 5, 2011

The role of parental alcohol consumption on driving under the influence of alcohol: Results from a longitudinal, nationally representative sample

Many studies have examined the role of peer and parental alcohol use on drinking behaviors among adolescents. Few studies, however, have examined parental influences on driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. The current study uses data from a longitudinal study to examine the role of parental alcohol use during adolescence on the risk for DUI among young adult men and women.

Data were derived from 9559 adolescents and young adults who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) Waves I and III. Survey logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between multilevel risk and protective factors and self-reported DUI. Analyses were stratified by gender and frequency of parental alcohol consumption to understand the role of parental alcohol use on risk for DUI among their youth.

Risk and protective factors for DUI were very similar among men and women. Parental alcohol use significantly predicted DUI among women (OR = 1.39, p < 0.01) and men (OR = 1.33, p < 0.05). When parents did not report alcohol use, peer alcohol use significantly increased risk for DUI for both women (OR = 1.26, p < 0.05) and men (OR = 1.31, p < 0.001). When parents reported alcohol use, however, peer alcohol use was not a significant independent predictor.

Findings suggest remarkable similarities in risk and protective factors for DUI across gender groups. For men and women, parental alcohol consumption was a risk factor for DUI. Peers’ alcohol use predicted DUI only when parents did not use alcohol.

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