Longitudinal effects of family factors on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among males from pre-adolescence to adulthood

E. Gail Horton, Florida International University


The goal of this study was to examine the longitudinal effects of five family factors on alcohol use among adolescent males. The family factors included familism (family pride, loyalty, and cohesion), parent derogation (being put down by parents), parent/child communication, family alcohol problems and family drug problems. The study focused on the effects of the family factors reported by a sample of 451 White-non-Hispanic and African American males during early and mid-adolescence on (1) the intensity of alcohol use in mid-adolescence, and (2) the number of problems associated with alcohol use during the transition to young adulthood. The study also explored racial differences in the effects of the family factors. The data for this study were derived from a two-phase longitudinal epidemiologic cohort study of male and female adolescents enrolled in middle schools in Miami, FL. Data were collected at four points between 1990 and 2001. Linear and logistical regressions were used to analyze the effects of the family variables on the dependent variables. The results of the analyses indicated that all of the family variables except family drug problems were statistically significant predictors of the level of alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. Familism had a moderate influence on both of the dependent variables at all data points, while parent derogation, parent/child communication and family alcohol problems were weak predictors. While the family factors varied by race, their impact on the dependent variables did not vary substantially. This study had methodological shortcomings related to measurement and design that may have contributed to the weak influence of the variables. Future studies should explore possible mediating effects of these variables, and should employ more sensitive measures that are culturally appropriate. The results suggest that, since early family factors have long-term effects on children's substance-using behaviors, the family environment should be addressed in prevention and intervention efforts.

Subject Area

Social work|Public health|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Horton, E. Gail, "Longitudinal effects of family factors on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among males from pre-adolescence to adulthood" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3110366.