Parenting style and behavior as longitudinal predictors of adolescent alcohol use.


Objective: Adolescent alcohol use is a serious problem in Australia and other nations. Longitudinal data on family predictors are valuable to guide parental education efforts. The present study tested Baumrind’s proposal that parenting styles are direct predictors of adolescent alcohol use. Method: Latent class modeling was used to investigate adolescent perceptions of parenting styles and multivariate regression to examine their predictive effect on the development of adolescent alcohol use. The data set comprised 2,081 secondary school students (55.9% female) from metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, who completed three waves of annual longitudinal data starting in 2004. Results: Baumrind’s parenting styles were significant predictors in unadjusted analyses, but these effects were not maintained in multivariate models that also included parenting behavior dimensions. Conclusions: Family influences on the development of adolescent alcohol use appear to operate more directly through specific family management behaviors rather than through more global parenting styles.