Pubertal Timing and Adolescent Alcohol Use: The Mediating Role of Parental and Peer Influences

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Abstract

Using intergenerational, prospective data at ages 9 months, 7, 11, and 14 years from the nationally representative United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study, this interdisciplinary study unpacks why 14-year-old adolescents with early perceived pubertal timing (PT) were more likely to drink alcohol (ever, frequent, and binge drinking) compared to those whose PT was on-time or late (5,757 girls, 5,799 boys; 80% White, 10% Asian, 3% Black, and 7% Other British). Parents allowed drinking among 22% (18%) of early PT girls (boys) compared to 11% of late PT adolescents; formal mediation models showed differences by PT in parent permissiveness and gains in alcohol-using friends primarily explained age 14 PT-drinking associations. Parental alcohol permissiveness should be a key prevention target for early PT adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1017-e1037
JournalChild development
Volume92
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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