158935 Influence of parental connectedness on adolescent alcohol use in the Caribbean

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sharon Mieras Perugini, MA , School of Science & Technology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Tenesha Berry, MA , School of Science & Technology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Kiti Freier Randall, PhD , School of Science & Technology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Duane C. McBride, PhD , Behavioral Science Department, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI
Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH , Center for Prevention Research, Center for Media Impact Research, Andrews University, Careywood, ID
Carlos Archbold, PhD , Miami Dade College, Miami, FL
Introduction: Increasingly, adolescents in the Caribbean are engaging in high levels of alcohol consumption and consequent behaviors. Limited prevention and intervention programs have been developed that target alcohol abuse. Because family connectedness has been associated with protective effects, the objective was to explore the influences of parental connectedness in predicting attitude and intentions to use alcohol. Methods: Data was collected from secondary students in the Caribbean as part of an ongoing study assessing overall risk behaviors among adolescents. The questionnaire utilized for this study, included demographic information and questions from the Center for Disease Control's Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and assessed health risk prevalence including tobacco, alcohol, drugs and sexual activity. Results: 407 youth participated with 42% male; mean age=15.88 (SD=1.30). Structural equation modeling was used in order to determine the effects of perceived parent and peer norms as well as connectedness with mother and father in predicting alcohol intentions via the mediating role of attitude. The hypothesized model achieved adequate fit (Robust CFI=.914; Robust RMSEA=.067; Chi-Square (157, N=407) 439.99, p<.001). Conclusions: Alcohol intentions were predicted by perceived norms and family connectedness through the mediating effects of attitude. Specifically, perceived parent and peer norms were the strongest predictors of attitude. While a positive association was found with mother connectedness and attitude, connectedness with father had a higher yet negative association. This may be due to differences in what is considered culturally accepted male behavior. Consequently, adolescents who feel connected to their father seem to identify with male alcohol consumption.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the impact of the connectedness with mother and father in predicting adolescent intentions to consume alcohol.

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.