Parents Who First Allowed Adolescents to Drink Alcohol in a Family Context During Spring 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Shutdowns

Jennifer L. Maggs, Jenna R. Cassinat, Brian C. Kelly, Sarah A. Mustillo, Shawn D. Whiteman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: COVID-19 stay-at-home orders during Spring 2020 dramatically changed daily life and created significant challenges for families. We document levels and predictors of U.S. parents who newly allowed adolescents to drink alcohol at home during the shutdown. Methods: Participants in an ongoing longitudinal study were two adolescent siblings (N = 911, M = 14.43, SD = 1.54 years) and one parent (N = 456; 85% mothers) who provided self-report data before the pandemic (T1) and during the shutdown. Results: No parents permitted adolescent drinking with family at T1; nearly one in six allowed it during the shutdown. In full models, adolescents who previously drank (without permission) and had light or heavy drinking parents were more likely to be newly permitted to drink. Conclusions: Parents’ alcohol permissibility within family contexts changed during the pandemic and was shaped by both parent and adolescent drinking. Well-child visits should continue adolescent alcohol screening and parent support during and after the pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-818
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume68
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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