The association between parental supply of alcohol and later adolescent alcohol use in a highly permissive context
Many children and adolescents get their first experience with alcohol in a family setting. Evidence suggests that parental supply of alcohol is a risk factor for alcohol use later in life. However, most of the previous studies have been conducted in Western countries. The Czech Republic has among the highest alcohol consumption per capita, including among adolescents, and providing own children with sips of alcohol is widely considered a good way for introducing them to “safe” alcohol use. This study examined whether the parental supply of alcohol is associated with later use among adolescents in an Eastern European alcohol-permissive context.
The sample included children (49% female) assessed at age 11 (N = 2,202) and age 15 (N = 1,279) from the European Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ELSPAC).
The outcome was adolescent alcohol use at age 15, reported by adolescents and pediatricians.
Predictors included different sources of alcohol (parents, family member, friend, own supply, or other sources) reported by adolescent at age 11.
Parental supply of alcohol consistently emerged as a robust longitudinal predictor of adolescent alcohol use, with adjusted odds ratios of self-reported and pediatrician-reported frequent alcohol use at age 15 of 2.34 and 2.37, respectively.
It also mediated the association between parental alcohol use and adolescent alcohol use.
Parental supply of alcohol is an important risk factor for later adolescent alcohol use in the high alcohol-permissive population of the Czech Republic, suggesting that the association might not be context-dependent.