Perceived parental alcohol problems and drinking patterns in youth: A cross-sectional study of 69,030 secondary education students in Denmark

Veronica S C Pisinger, Charlotte A Holst, Pernille Bendtsen, Ulrik Becker, Janne S Tolstrup

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to examine whether young people with parental alcohol problems have different drinking patterns than those without parental alcohol problems. Further, we examined whether the association between parental alcohol problems and young people's drinking patterns differed depending on the gender of the child and the parent, and whether more severe parental alcohol problems and cohabitation with the parent with alcohol problems was associated with earlier and heavier drinking patterns. Data came from the Danish National Youth Study 2014, a web-based national survey. 75,025 high school and vocational school students (15-25years) participated. Drinking patterns were investigated by the following outcomes: non-drinking, weekly alcohol consumption, frequent binge drinking, and early intoxication debut age. The main predictor variables were perceived parental alcohol problems, gender of the parent with alcohol problems, cohabitation with a parent with alcohol problems and severity of the parents' alcohol problems. Young people with parental alcohol problems had a higher weekly alcohol consumption (boys: 15.2 vs. 13.9 drinks per week; girls: 11.6 vs. 10.2 drinks per week), higher odds of early intoxication debut age (boys: OR=1.68 [95%CI 1.50-1.89]; girls: OR 1.95 [95%CI 1.79-2.14]), and more frequent binge drinking (boys, OR=1.16 [95%CI 1.04-1.29]; girls, OR=1.21 [95%CI 1.11-1.32]) compared to young people without parental alcohol problems. In conclusion, this study shows that young people with perceived parental alcohol problems have an earlier intoxication debut age, binge drink more frequently, and drink larger quantities per week than young people without perceived parental alcohol problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume105
Pages (from-to)389-396
ISSN0091-7435
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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