The overall effect of parental supply of alcohol across adolescence on alcohol‐related harms in early adulthood – a prospective cohort study
- Parental supply of alcohol increases risk of adolescent binge drinking and alcohol-related harms.
Parental supply of alcohol across adolescence saw greater risk of binge alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms, with around a 50% increase in risk in the year after parental supply occurred, and around a 20% increase in risk two years after parental supply.
In addition, earlier initiation of parental supply increased risk of binge alcohol use and experiencing any alcohol-related harms, with the risk increasing around 10% for each year earlier that parental supply began.
- Parental supply of alcohol may not protect against more severe alcohol-related harms in later adulthood.
There was no evidence that parental supply was protective against alcohol use disorder.
Given that alcohol use disorder is relatively rare that early in adulthood, peaking in the mid 20s, it is possible that the increased risk of binge alcohol use and alcohol harm may lead to more severe harms later in adulthood.
- Increasingly, evidence suggests that parental supply of alcohol should be avoided in adolescence.
The research results suggest that any parental supply of alcohol should be avoided, particularly in early adolescence.
Background and Aims
Recent research suggests that parental supply of alcohol is associated with more risky alcohol use and alcohol‐related harm among adolescents. However, the overall effect of parental supply throughout adolescence remains unclear, because parental supply of alcohol varies during adolescence.
Due to the complexity of longitudinal data, standard analytical methods can be biased.
This study examined the effect of parental supply of alcohol on alcohol‐related outcomes in early adulthood using robust methods to minimize risk of bias.
Prospective longitudinal cohort study.
A cohort of school students (n = 1906) recruited in the first year of secondary school (average age 12.9 years) from Australian schools in 2010–11, interviewed annually for 7 years.
The exposure variable was self‐reported parental supply of alcohol (including sips/whole drinks) during 5 years of adolescence (waves 1–5).
Outcome variables were self‐reported binge alcohol consumption, alcohol‐related harm and symptoms of alcohol use disorder, measured in the two waves after the exposure period (waves 6–7).
To reduce risk of bias, the researchers used targeted maximum likelihood estimation to assess the (counterfactual) effect of parental supply of alcohol in all five waves versus no supply on alcohol‐related outcomes.
Parental supply of alcohol throughout adolescence saw greater risk of binge alcohol use and alcohol‐related harms in the year following the exposure period compared with no supply in adolescence.
Earlier initiation of parental supply also increased risk of binge alcohol use and any alcohol‐related harm for each year earlier parental supply began compared with later (or no) initiation.
Adolescents whose parents supply them with alcohol appear to have an increased risk of alcohol‐related harm compared with adolescents whose parents do not supply them with alcohol.
The risk appears to increase with earlier initiation of supply.
Our research contributes to a growing body of evidence suggesting that parental supply of alcohol increases risk of harm, with no evidence for any protective effects. The results suggest that any parental supply of alcohol should be avoided, particularly in early adolescence,” wrote Philip Clare, biostatistician at The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, as per IAS Blogpost.