Online Program

Alcohol and Other Drug Use in the Home: What Parents Are Teaching Adolescents

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Heather Fay, MHS, Program Services, FCD Prevention Works, Newton, MA
Desirae Vasquez, MHS, Program Services, FCD Educational Services, Newton, MA
OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: Parental knowledge of adolescent alcohol use is thought to mitigate negative consequences of use. We sought to explore this question using a school-based survey, administered among approximately 53,000 6th-12th-grade students in 24 countries from the years 2009 to 2014.

Students self-reported alcohol use, consequences experienced as a result of their alcohol use, and whether or not they have used alcohol or other drugs at home with or without a parent or guardian’s knowledge. Logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between these variables.

RESULTS: Across 21 negative consequences captured by the survey, students who used alcohol or other drugs at home without a parent's knowledge were 2-5 times more likely to report a negative consequence, compared to students who didn’t drink at home without a parent’s knowledge. When looking at students who used alcohol or other drugs at home with a parent’s knowledge, results were mixed. Drinking at home with a parent's knowledge was protective against consequences such as “felt guilty about drinking” (OR: 0.7, 95% CI: 0.6, 0.7), and “did something they later felt sorry for” (OR: 0.9, 95% CI: 0.8, 0.9). However, students who used with a parent’s knowledge were at an increased risk of experiencing negative consequences related to addiction. These consequences included “needed a drink or other drug first thing in the morning” (OR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.3, 1.8) and “used alcohol or other drugs by oneself” (OR: 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2, 1.5).

CONCLUSION: While using alcohol or other drugs at home with a parent’s knowledge may protect students from experiencing certain consequences, it may nonetheless endanger students in other, unexpected ways. Public health awareness and communication strategies toward an explanation of such phenomena may improve family health practices and decrease adolescent alcohol and other drug risks perpetuated in the home.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
Compare drinking behaviors, attitudes towards alcohol use, and negative consequences, between students who use alcohol or other drugs at home with a parents’ knowledge, and to students who use alcohol or other drugs at home without their parents’ knowledge.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the manager of multiple databases, both domestically and internationally. For the past five years, I have conducted data analyses on substance abuse prevention among adolescents, spanning 24 countries. I have a Master of Health Science in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
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.