Parents Who First Allowed Adolescents To Drink Alcohol in a Family Context During Spring 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Shutdowns
COVID-19 stay-at-home orders during Spring 2020 dramatically changed daily life and created significant challenges for families. This study documents levels and predictors of U.S. parents who newly allowed adolescents to have alcohol at home during the shutdown.
Participants in an ongoing longitudinal study were two adolescent siblings (N = 911, M = 14.43, SD = 1.54 years) and one parent (N = 456; 85% mothers) who provided self-report data before the pandemic (T1) and during the shutdown.
No parents permitted adolescent alcohol use with family at T1; nearly one in six allowed it during the shutdown. In full models, adolescents who previously had alcohol (without permission) and had light or heavy alcohol use parents were more likely to be newly permitted to have alcohol.
Parents’ alcohol permissibility within family contexts changed during the pandemic and was shaped by both parent and adolescent alcohol use. Well-child visits should continue adolescent alcohol screening and parent support during and after the pandemic.