The Impact of Alcohol Specific Rules and Communication on Alcohol use Among Dutch Late Adolescents
1Maastricht University, Department of Health Promotion, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
2Maastricht University, Department of Methodology and Statistics, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Background: Aim of the study was to determine whether parental alcohol specific rules and communication have a beneficial effect on alcohol use in 16 to 18 year old Dutch adolescents, who were at the time of measurement legally allowed to buy soft alcoholic beverages. We furthermore assessed whether effects of rules and communication vary in drinking situations with and without parents. Methods: 499 Dutch parents and their 16 to 18 year old child responded to a questionnaire assessing alcohol consumption and binge drinking of adolescents, alcohol consumption of parents, alcohol specific rules and communication. Structural equation modeling was used to test the relationships between these variables. Findings: Stricter rules were associated with less adolescent alcohol use. Communication was positively related to alcohol use indicating that more communication was associated with more alcohol use. These effects were equally strong in situations with and without parents. Discussion: Contrary to parents’ perception, their influence on adolescent alcohol use persists, even in situations where they are not present. Parents should be encouraged to continue setting rules about alcohol use.