NUMBER 658 11 JANUARY DRUG USE AND PARENT INVOLVEMENT
INDEX

    

There is a growing and robust body of research that indicates that the influence of parents is the most underutilized tool in preventing youth substance abuse (e.g., Califano, 2000; Jenkins & Zunguze, 1998; Office of National Drug Control Policy, 1997; Resnick et al., 1997). This influence is exerted through a number of avenues, such as parents' own values with respect to substance use, communication of those values, and monitoring/enforcement of family policies. Two recent longitudinal studies have found that parental disapproval of adolescent alcohol use deters later adolescent drinking (Ary, Tildesley, Hops, & Andrew, 1993; Reifman, Barnes, Dintcheff, Farrell, & Uhteg, 1998). Other studies have found that greater frequency of parental monitoring in the home is associated with somewhat less frequent cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use among adolescents (Chilcoat & Anthony, 1996; Kafka & London, 1991; Resnick et al., 1997).

The Beck and Lockhart model of parental involvement in youth drinking and driving (Beck et al., 1997) says that the likelihood of alcohol misuse can be seen as a direct result of low levels of parental action, which is characterized by weak levels of monitoring and enforcement of family policies on drinking. The model predicts that the most immediate determinant of adolescent alcohol misuse is the frequency of parental monitoring and enforcement of family rules about underage drinking. Moreover, the researchers found that parents appear to have better success in helping their teens avoid high-risk alcohol situations if they supervise the activities given in their home and monitor their teens when they are away from home by "waiting up."
Considerable research has been devoted to forms of communication between parents and children. Several studies have reported that youth from families with frequent, open (bidirectional), and positive communication are less likely to become involved with drugs. These youth are also more likely to have abstinence-based norms than are youth from families in which this kind of dialogue is absent (Baumrind, 1991; Block, Block, & Keyes, 1988; Brody et al., 1998; Brody & Schaffer, 1982; Coombs, 1988; Kafka & London, 1991; Reis, 1996; Smetana, 1987). With respect to frequency, Gil, Vega, and Biafora (1998) found that White non-Hispanics and U.S.-born Hispanics with infrequent communication within their family were more likely to initiate drug use. Another study found that the fewer cautionary statements given to adolescents by their parents about substance use, the more likely those adolescents were to initiate substance use (Andrews, Hops, Ary, Tildesley, & Harris, 1993).
Discussions that involve both children's and parents' perspectives have been found to promote the development of conventional standards of conduct (Baumrind, 1991; Brody & Shaffer, 1982; Smetana, 1987). Active involvement in discussions in which children perceive that they have input into behavioral norms will decrease the likelihood that the children will view the norms as externally imposed; this, in turn, will increase the likelihood that they will behave in accordance with the norms (Langer, 1983; Lepper, 1981). Furthermore, Harbach and Jones (1995) found that the success of parents in communicating values about family, religion, education, and work was associated with lower risk of drug use. At-risk adolescents assigned less importance to these values than did other groups in the study.
Positive communication of parental values on substance use is another critical element in parent-child discussions. Parent-child communication within alcoholic families is often characterized as excessively critical, lacking warmth, and as inattentive to children's needs and feelings (Black, Bucky & Wilder-Padilla, 1986; Jones & Houts, 1992). Comparisons of adolescent drug users and nonusers document the importance of fathers who provide praise and encouragement and of mothers who provide advice and guidance to drug-abstaining youth (Coombs & Landsverk, 1988).

 


KATHLEEN KELLY ET AL.

Kelly, K., Comello, M. and Hunn, L. (2002) Parent-child communication, perceived sanctions against drug use, and youth drug involvement. Adolescence, Winter, 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
References:

Andrews, J. A., Hops, H., Ary, D., Tildesley, E., & Harris, J. (1993). Parental influence on early adolescent substance use: Specific and nonspecific effects. Journal of Early Adolescence, 13(3), 285-310.

Ary, D., Tildesley, E., Hops, H., & Andrews, J. A. (1993). The influence of parent, sibling, and peer modeling and attitudes on adolescent use of alcohol. International Journal of the Addictions, 28, 853-880.

Baumrind, D. (1991). The influence of parenting style on adolescent competence and substance use. Journal of Early Adolescence, 11(1), 57-95.

Beck, K., Ko, M., & Scaffa, M. E. (1997). Parental monitoring, acceptance and perceptions of teen alcohol misuse. American Journal of Health Behavior, 21(1), 26-32.

Black, C., Bucky, S. F., & Wilder-Padilla, S. (1986). The interpersonal and emotional consequences of being an adult child of an alcoholic. International Journal of the Addictions, 21, 213-231.

Block, J., Block, J. H., & Keyes, S. (1988). Longitudinally fortelling drug usage in adolescence: Early childhood personality and environmental precursors. Child Development, 59, 336-355.

Brody, G. H., Flor, D. L., Hollett-Wright, N., & McCoy, J. K. (1998). Children's development of alcohol use norms: Contributions of parent and sibling norms, children's temperaments, and parent-child discussions. Journal of Family Psychology, 12(2), 209-219.

Brady, G. H., & Shaffer, D. R. (1982). Contributions of parents and peers to children's moral socialization. Development Review, 2, 31-75.

Califano, J. A. (2000). Winning the war on drugs: It's all in the family. America, 182(2), 6-8.

Chilcoat, H. D., & Anthony, J. C. (1996). Impact of parent monitoring on initiation of drug use through late childhood. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 91-100.

Coombs, J. (1988). The family context of adolescent drug use. New York: Haworth Press.

Coombs, R. H., & Landsverk, J. (1988). Parenting styles and substance use during childhood and adolescence. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 473-482.

Gil, A. G., Vega, W. A., & Biafora, F. (1998). Temporal influence of family structure and family risk factors on drug use initiation in a multiethnic sample of adolescent boys. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 27(3), 373-393.

Harbach, R. L., & Jones, W. P. (1995). Family beliefs among adolescents at risk for substance abuse. Journal of Drug Education, 25(1), 1-19.

Jones, D. C., & Houts, R. (1992). Parental drinking, parent-child communications and social skills in young adults. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 53(1), 48-56.

Jenkins, J. E., & Zunguze, S. T. (1998). The relationship of family structure to adolescent drug use, peer affiliation, and perception of peer acceptance of drug use. Adolescence, 33(132), 811-822.

Kafka, R., & London, P. (1991). Communication in relationships and adolescent substance use: The influence of parents and friends. Adolescence, 26(103), 587-598.

Langer, E. (1983). The psychology of control. New York: Sage.

Lepper, M. R. (1981). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in children: Detrimental effects of superfluous social controls. In W. A. Collins (Ed.), Minnesota symposia on child psychology, Vol. 14 (pp. 155-213). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Office of National Drug Control Policy. (1997). National youth anti-drug media campaign: Communication strategy statement. Washington, DC: Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Reifman, A., Barnes, G. M., Dintcheff, B. A., Farrell, M. P., & Uhteg, L. (1998). Parental and peer influences on the onset of heavier drinking among adolescents. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 59(3), 311-318.

Reis, J. (1996). A descriptive study of African-American mother-child communication about drugs and health. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 27(3), 485-498.

Resnick, M. D., Bearman, P. S., Blum, R. W., Bauman, K E., Harris, K M., Jones, J., Tabor, J., Beuhring, T., Sieving, R. E., Shew, M., Ireland, M., Bearinger, L. H., & Udry, J. R. (1997). Protecting adolescents from harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. Journal of the American Medical Association, 278, 823-832.

Smetana, J. G. (1987). Parent factors in family relations in adolescence. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Baltimore, MD.
 

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