Parents can positively influence their children's alcohol use. One strategy they use is to provide their children with alcohol, believing it is the best way to teach their children how to drink responsibly. The impact of parental supply is not well understood and may be unintentionally harmful. This study will research the consequences of parental supply within the broader context of parent, child and peer relationships. It will help to determine how parental supply influences the different patterns of adolescent alcohol consumption over time, providing essential information to help parents prevent alcohol misuse in their children. Parents can play a pivotal role in prevention of alcohol misuse, but at present we don't know exactly how.
This study investigates the impact of parental supply of alcohol on drinking trajectories in Australian adolescents, including how parental supply of alcohol relates to the acceleration or deceleration of harmful drinking trajectories, and how other related factors may mediate and moderate the relationship.
Design and Method
From 2010 to 2011, families were recruited from Grade 7 classes across 49 schools in NSW, TAS and WA. 1,927 eligible families agreed to participate and have thus far been followed up annually to complete surveys since 2010. Surveys address areas related to quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption (including supply, supervision and context of supply and consumption), parental modelling of alcohol use, family and peer relationships, family history of alcohol-related problems, alcohol-specific rules and access, and mental health and behavioural problems. Latent growth curve modelling will be used to analyse the longitudinal data.
As of November 2019, 79.7% of the original sample have completed their 9th annual survey, which is improved retention compared to the 7th (77.5%) and 8th (73.4%) annual survey waves. The 10th wave of surveys are currently underway and we expect data collection for this wave to be completed by late 2020. Analyses have been presented at national and international conferences and several peer-reviewed publications have been published. Further analyses are ongoing with a range of papers being drafted for other peer-review publications. The National Health and Medical Research Council is funding the project from 2018-2022, which allows us to continue following these families until participants are aged approximately 23-24 years old. This has established our cohort as an international landmark study, allowing us to answer the important question of how parental supply of alcohol in early adolescence impacts upon alcohol use and harms in late adolescence and early adulthood.