247560 Parents as socalization agents: Effects of parent-child communication about alcohol and youth alcohol use

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

YoungJu Shin, ABD , Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Michael Hecht, PhD , Communication Arts and Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Michelle Miller-Day, PhD , Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA
Studies suggest that positive parent-child relationships are a protective factor for adolescent children's psychological, social, and behavioral development. In particular, past research demonstrates that parent-child communication about ATOD (alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs) positively impacts youth substance use. Through conversations, it is believed that parents serve as anti-drug socialization agents by communicating their normative disapproval of substance use to children. The present study examined this hypothesized effect, postulating that parent-child communication about alcohol indirectly effects youth alcohol use via parental anti-drug injunctive norms. The sample consisted of 971 adolescents (80% Mexican heritage; 10.1% African American; 6.4% European American; .5% Asian) from 23 public schools in Phoenix, AZ who completed surveys at three waves from 5th through 6th grades (50.5% girls; Mage = 11.85 years). Results from longitudinal path analysis supported the predictions that parent-child communication about alcohol and parental anti-drug injunctive norms each significantly reduced youth alcohol consumption and, as predicted, parent-child communication about alcohol strongly influenced youth's perception of parental anti-drug injunctive norms, which in turn led to reduce alcohol consumption. This study demonstrates the beneficial effects of parent-child communication based on conveying anti-drug norms about alcohol. Findings suggest implications for family-based prevention intervention.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Assess effects of parent-child communication about alcohol on youth alcohol use. 2. Assess medication effects of parental anti-drug injunctive norms on the relation between parent-child communication about alcohol and youth alcohol use.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because my research centers around parent-child communication and adolescent health. I have worked for school based youth substance use prevention intervention as a research assistant and my dissertation focuses on parent-child communication about substance use.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.