Assessing parents’ motives for talking about alcohol with their emerging adult children

Lucy E. Napper, Bradley M. Trager, Rob Turrisi, Joseph W. LaBrie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Past research has explored the content and frequency of alcohol-specific communication between parents and their emerging adult children. The current study aimed to address a gap in the research by examining parents' motivation for discussing alcohol. To accomplish this, we developed a multidimensional Parent Motives for Alcohol Communication Scale (PMACS). A total of 633 parents completed the PMACS along with measures assessing communication frequency, communication content, attitudes toward drinking, relationship quality, and perceptions of child alcohol use. An Exploratory Factor Analysis yielded five core communication motives. Parents were commonly motivated by desires to prevent their child's alcohol use, to respond to their child's heavy drinking, to teach their child how to drink safely, to meet relationship needs or expectations, and by a family history of alcohol problems. After controlling for demographic factors, communication motives predicted frequency of alcohol-specific communication. The patterns of relationship among motives and conceptually related constructs provided preliminary support for the construct validity of the PMACS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107155
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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