Strong Relationships with Parents Associated with Reductions in Heavy Episodic Drinking in Early Adulthood

Heavy episodic drinking (HED) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among US youth. The likelihood of HED increases throughout the high school years, stabilizes briefly, and then decreases as youth enter early adulthood. This report examined the relationship between a composite measure of parental relationship quality and the risk of HED among early adults, aged 18–25.

  • Paternal relationship quality was negatively associated with HED for both sons and daughters aged 18–25 (odds ratio [OR], 0.73).
  • Maternal relationship quality was negatively associated with HED among both sons and daughters through age 19 (OR, 0.50). The association weakened for daughters by age 20 (OR, 0.87, 95% CI: 0.72–04), but remained strong for sons until age 25.

Comments: Parents may feel powerless to influence their children’s risk behaviors once they become legally recognized as adults and responsible for their own actions and decisions. This article is an important reminder of the influence that parents continue to have on their children into adulthood and suggests that fostering strong positive relationships between parents and young adult children may offer substantial health benefits.

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

Reference: Madkour AS, Clum G, Miles TT, et al. Parental influences on heavy episodic drinking development in the transition to early adulthood. J Adolsec Health. 2017;61(2):147–154.

Post Your Comment

Comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.
Email address is for verification only; it will not be displayed.