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Alcohol use and abuse and motivations for drinking and non-drinking among Spanish adolescents: do we know enough when we know parenting style?.
García, O., Serra, E., Zacares, J.J., Calafat, A. & García, F.
(2019) Psychology & Health, 1-20


Objective: We examine parenting styles (characterized by warmth and strictness, i.e., neglectful, indulgent, authoritarian and authoritative) as either a protective or risk factor for adolescence drinking.

Design: Two 4 × 2 × 3 multi-factorial MANOVAs. Sample consisted of 996 underage Spanish adolescents, 532 males (53.4%), ranging from 15 to 17 years old.

Main outcome measures: Alcohol use (wine, beer, mixed drinks and liquors) and abuse and motivations for drinking (social acceptance and self-enhancement) and non-drinking (harsh preventive rules and awareness of alcohol's harmful effects).

Results: Lower risk of alcohol use and abuse was found in adolescents with indulgent parenting, and higher risk for adolescents with authoritarian parenting. Adolescents from indulgent parenting style homes had equal adjustment (lower self-enhancement and higher harsh preventive rules and awareness of alcohol's harmful effects) or even better (lower social acceptance) than those from authoritative parenting style homes. Consistently, the highest risk parenting styles identified were the authoritarian and neglectful styles (α=.05).

Conclusion: At least in some cultures, warmth and reasoning, shared by authoritative and indulgent parenting styles, seem the recommended way to protect offspring from drinking. Effective alcohol prevention and intervention programs should include strategies tailored specifically to this new cultural context where parenting takes place.