Differential trajectories of alcohol-related behaviors across the first year of college by parenting profiles

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This study examined the extent to which profiles of perceived parenting are associated with trajectories of alcohol-related behaviors across the first year of college. Participants were surveyed five times from the summer before college to the fall of the second year. A total 285 college students were enrolled from the incoming classes of consecutive cohorts of students at a large, public university in the Northeastern United States. At baseline, participants provided information on their parents’ alcohol-related behaviors (e.g., parental modeling of use; perceived approval of underage use) and parenting characteristics (e.g., parental monitoring; parent-child relationship quality). Students also reported on their personal alcohol-related behaviors at each time point. Latent profile analysis was used to identify four subgroups based on the set of parenting characteristics: High Quality (14%) - highest parent-teen relationship quality; High Monitoring (31%) - highest parental monitoring and knowledge; Low Involvement (30%) - poor relationship quality, little monitoring and communication; and Pro-Alcohol (21%) - highest parental modeling and approval. Students were then assigned to profiles, and their alcohol-related behaviors were examined longitudinally using latent growth curve modeling. In general, students in the Pro-Alcohol profile displayed the highest baseline levels of typical weekend drinking, heavy episodic drinking, and peak blood alcohol content, in addition to showing steeper increases in typical weekend drinking across the first year of college. Results support the notion that parental behaviors remain relevant across the first year of college. Differential alcohol-related behaviors across parenting profiles highlight the potential for tailored college intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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