Alcohol use and the adolescent male's experience of the parents' marital disruption
Author(s)Holloway, Langdon L.
Contributor(s)Holloway, Langdon L. (author)
Baer, Judith (chair)
Edwards, Richard (internal member)
Akincigil, Ayse (internal member)
Langenbucher, Janes (outside member)
Graduate School - New Brunswick
Teenage boys--Alcohol use
Children of divorced parents
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AbstractThis study, a secondary analysis of the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health (Add Health, Resnick, Bearman et al., 1997), examined the influence of the parents' marital disruption during early adolescence on heavy alcohol use for males in young adulthood. The statistical analyses utilized bivariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression. The research questions were derived from the theories of social control (Hirschi, 1969) and life cycle theory (Carter & MeGoldrick, 1989). It was hypothesized that living in an intact family, or living in a never married household, would serve a protective function for drinking behavior in young adulthood. It was hypothesized that the parents' marital disruption when it coincided with early adolescence, would increase the risk of heavy drinking in the 20s. These family structure variables did not reach significance for heavy drinking. The tenets of social control theory were not supported for the outcome measure of heavy drinking in young adulthood. Vulnerability in early adolescence was not confirmed for family disruption and later drinking. The predictive relationship of feeling close, participating in activities, and communicating about personal problems with the residential and noncustodial parents, as well as visiting the noncustodial parent overnight, was not found to be significant of heavy drinking. It was determined that Hispanic youth who experienced the parents' marital disruption had significantly more likelihood of heavy drinking in their 20s. Parent drinking behavior was not a significant predictor. Being affiliated with a religion that has strict rules against drinking alcohol was not significant. However, being Jewish proved significant with lower levels of drinking. A non-significant finding was that adolescents who experienced conflict and an adolescent disruption, had less likelihood of heavy drinking than those who experienced conflict and disruption in childhood. Future research should focus on the impact of divorce on alcohol use for different ethnic groups, particularly for Hispanics. Further study is needed on alcohol use depending on the time of the separation when conflict is present.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 94-112).