Perceived Parental Alcohol Problems and Childrens’ Drinking Patterns in Youth

Do young people with parental alcohol problems have different drinking patterns than those without parental alcohol problems?

The Study

Research in Denmark studied this question. It used data from the Danish National Youth Study. This was a national survey of 75,025 high school and vocational school students. They were 15-25 years old.

These were the main predictor variables.

  • Perceived parental alcohol problems.
  • Living with a parent with alcohol problems.
  • Severity of the parents’ alcohol problems.

And these were the outcome variables.

  • Non-drinking.
  • Weekly alcohol consumption.
  • Frequent binge drinking.
  • Early age of intoxication.

The Findings

parental alcohol problemsThe researchers reported that young people with perceived parental alcohol problems have an earlier age of intoxication. They also binge drink more frequently. And finally, they drink higher quantities per week than young people without perceived parental alcohol problems.

Source: Pisinger V., et al. Perceived parental alcohol problems and drinking patterns in youth. A cross-sectional study of 69,030 secondary education students in Denmark. Prev Med, 2017, S0091-7435(17), 30003-8.

Resources on Parental Alcohol Problems

Brouwer, T. Parents with Substance Use Disorders and Child Protection Issues. Hauppauge, NY: Nova, 2011.

Forrester, D., et al. Parental Substance Abuse. London: BAAF, 2012.

Higgins, P. and Zawacki, G. Up and Down the Mountain. Helping Children Cope with Parental Alcoholism. Juv fiction. Liberty Corner, NJ: Small Horizons, 1995.

Hunkins, L. Just One Step. A Drama about Children Who Live with Parental Alcoholism. NY: Plays for Living, 1987.

McMahon, R. and DeV Peters, R. The Effects of Parental Dysfunction on Children. NY: Kluwer/Plenum, 2002.

Miller, L., et al. The Images Within. A Child’s View of Parental Alcoholism.
NY : Child of Alcoholics Found, 1996.

Porterfield, K. Coping with an Alcoholic Parent. Juv read, NY: Rosen, 1990.

Renetzky, A., et al. Coping with a Parent Who Drinks or Abuses Drugs. Santa Monica, Ready Ref, 1992.

Velleman, R. and Orford, J. Risk and Resilience. Adults Who were the Children of Problem Drinkers. Amsterdam: Harwood, 1999.