The impact of parenthood on alcohol consumption trajectories: Variations as a function of timing of parenthood, familial alcoholism, and gender

Michelle Little, Elizabeth Handley, Eileen Leuthe, Laurie Chassin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study tested the impact of the transition to parenthood on growth in alcohol consumption from early adolescence through emerging adulthood. We measured age-related discontinuity in trajectories of alcohol consumption associated with timing of the parenthood transition, above and beyond the effects of accrued educational status, gender, and time-varying marital status. We also examined the impact of a familial selection factor for the transmission of alcohol use problems, family history density of alcoholism (FHD), on both risk for adolescent parenthood and risk for adolescent parents' continuity in alcohol consumption after the parent transition within a mediation structural equation model. Premature timing of parenthood had a distinct effect on emerging adult alcohol trajectories. Although participants who became parents as emerging adults showed role-related decline in alcohol consumption, those who became parents during adolescence showed a role-related rise in emerging adult alcohol consumption. Gender moderated adolescent parents' role-related growth in emerging adult alcohol consumption. Adolescent fathers showed an adverse rise in alcohol consumption after becoming parents, whereas adolescent mothers' alcohol consumption did not change significantly. FHD was related to high adolescent alcohol consumption, which mediated risk for the incidence of early parenthood. Finally, the adverse effect of FHD on trajectories of emerging adult alcohol use was mediated by a dual pathway: (a) developmental continuity of conduct problems and (b) early transition to parenthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-682
Number of pages22
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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