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Concurrent and Prospective Associations Between Substance-Specific Parenting Practices and Child Cigarette, Alcohol, and Marijuana Use

      Abstract

      Purpose

      The current study aimed to understand whether substance-specific parenting practices predicted the probability of child alcohol, cigarette, or marijuana use beyond known family factors like family management and parental substance use and norms.

      Methods

      Data were drawn from the Intergenerational Project, which used an accelerated longitudinal design and included 383 families surveyed seven times between 2002 and 2011. Analyses included 224 families with children ages 10–18 years (49% female). Multilevel models tested both concurrent and lagged (predictors at time t − 1, outcomes at time t) associations between child past year use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana and time-varying measures of substance-specific parenting practices, including permitting child use of alcohol or cigarettes; family rules about alcohol, cigarette, and drug use; and child involvement in family member alcohol or cigarette use (getting, opening, or pouring alcoholic drinks; getting or lighting cigarettes for family members). Demographic controls were included.

      Results

      Child involvement in family member substance use predicted an increased probability of child substance use both concurrently and 1 year later, even when controlling parent substance use, pro-substance norms, and family management. Family rules about substance use and parent provision of alcohol or cigarettes were not consistently related to child alcohol, cigarette, or marijuana use.

      Conclusions

      Family-based preventive interventions to reduce youth substance use should continue to focus on family management and include messaging discouraging parents from allowing children to get, open, or pour drinks or get or light cigarettes for family members.

      Keywords

      See Related Editorial on p. 643
      Implications and Contribution
      Results suggest that public health messaging urging parents not to allow their children to get, open, or pour alcoholic drinks or get or light cigarettes for family members may be helpful in reducing teen substance use.
      Prevention of youth alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use is an important public health priority because early-onset, regular, or heavy use of these substances in adolescence increases risk of abuse or dependence and a wide range of other negative social, economic, legal, and health outcomes [
      • Danielsson A.K.
      • Wennberg P.
      • Tengstrom A.
      • Romelsjo A.
      Adolescent alcohol use trajectories: Predictors and subsequent problems.
      ,
      • Fergusson D.M.
      • Boden J.M.
      Cannabis use and later life outcomes.
      ,
      • Georgiades K.
      • Boyle M.H.
      Adolescent tobacco and cannabis use: Young adult outcomes from the Ontario Child Health Study.
      ,
      • Hingson R.
      • White A.
      New research findings since the 2007 Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A review.
      ]. Prior research has shown that parent substance use, parental norms favoring substance use, and parenting practices like good family management (monitoring, consistent moderate discipline) predict youth substance use [
      • Bailey J.A.
      • Hill K.G.
      • Guttmannova K.
      • et al.
      Associations between parental and grandparental marijuana use and child substance use norms in a prospective, three-generation study.
      ,
      • Chassin L.
      • Presson C.C.
      • Rose J.
      • et al.
      Parenting style and smoking-specific parenting practices as predictors of adolescent smoking onset.
      ,
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Miller J.Y.
      Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention.
      ,
      • Hill K.G.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • et al.
      Family influences on the risk of daily smoking initiation.
      ]. In addition to general parenting practices like family management, parents also engage in substance-specific parenting practices, including establishing family rules about substance use, providing substances or permitting youth to use them, and involving youth in family member substance use (getting, opening, or pouring alcoholic drinks; getting or lighting cigarettes). The role of these substance-specific parenting practices in youth substance use remains understudied, and their contribution to risk for youth substance use beyond general parenting practices is unclear. The current study aimed to understand whether parent-permitted use of alcohol or cigarettes; family rules about alcohol, cigarette, and drug use; and child involvement in family member alcohol or cigarette use predict child alcohol, cigarette, or marijuana use over and above family management and parent substance use and norms.

      Substance-specific parenting practices

      External constraints (laws, policies, rules) can be effective at reducing youth substance use [
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Miller J.Y.
      Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention.
      ,
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      The social development model: A theory of antisocial behavior.
      ,
      • Wagenaar A.C.
      • Salios M.J.
      • Komro K.A.
      Effects of beverage alcohol price and tax levels on drinking: A meta-analysis of 1003 estimates from 112 studies.
      ]. Family rules, in particular, are an important source of constraint on youth behavior [
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      The social development model: A theory of antisocial behavior.
      ], and many families establish rules around substance use [
      • Ennett S.T.
      • Bauman K.E.
      • Foshee V.A.
      • et al.
      Parent-child communication about adolescent tobacco and alcohol use: What do parents say and does it affect youth behavior?.
      ]. In a probability sample of U.S. families, 75% and 65% of parents reported discussing rules about alcohol and cigarette use, respectively, with their teen [
      • Ennett S.T.
      • Bauman K.E.
      • Foshee V.A.
      • et al.
      Parent-child communication about adolescent tobacco and alcohol use: What do parents say and does it affect youth behavior?.
      ]. Evidence regarding whether family rules about alcohol reduce teen drinking is mixed, however, with studies showing negative, positive, and no associations [
      • Ennett S.T.
      • Bauman K.E.
      • Foshee V.A.
      • et al.
      Parent-child communication about adolescent tobacco and alcohol use: What do parents say and does it affect youth behavior?.
      ,
      • Jackson C.
      • Henriksen L.
      • Dickinson D.
      Alcohol-specific socialization, parenting behaviors and alcohol use by children.
      ,
      • Ryan S.M.
      • Jorm A.F.
      • Lubman D.I.
      Parenting factors associated with reduced adolescent alcohol use: A systematic review of longitudinal studies.
      ]. Studies of smoking have been more consistent in showing that family rules restricting smoking predict a lower likelihood and reduced frequency of youth smoking [
      • Andersen M.R.
      • Leroux B.G.
      • Bricker J.B.
      • et al.
      Antismoking parenting practices are associated with reduced rates of adolescent smoking.
      ,
      • Clark P.I.
      • Schooley M.W.
      • Pierce B.
      • et al.
      Impact of home smoking rules on smoking patterns among adolescents and young adults.
      ,
      • Proescholdbell R.J.
      • Chassin L.
      • MacKinnon D.P.
      Home smoking restrictions and adolescent smoking.
      ], although some have failed to find prospective associations between family rules and teen smoking (e.g., 11). One potential source of inconsistency in studies of family rules about substance use is that the time ordering of youth use and establishment of family rules may differ in different families. Some families may institute rules proactively to prevent use (producing a negative association) and some may institute rules reactively once use has occurred (producing a positive association). This problem is amplified because many prior studies of family rules about substance use were cross-sectional or had short longitudinal follow-up periods. We did not find studies of the association between family rules about drug use and child marijuana use, and identify this as a significant gap in the literature.
      In addition to constraining their children's behavior, parents provide opportunities for their children to engage in prosocial behaviors, like helping with chores, playing games, and eating meals together, which provide a basis for shaping desired behavior through rewards and increased bonding [
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      The social development model: A theory of antisocial behavior.
      ]. Parents also may provide opportunities for antisocial behavior, such as allowing underage children to use substances [
      • Warner L.A.
      • White H.R.
      Longitudinal effects of age at onset and first drinking situations on problem drinking.
      ]. For example, some parents and policy makers believe that teaching children to drink at home may promote more responsible drinking [
      • McBride N.
      • Farringdon F.
      • Midford R.
      • et al.
      Early unsupervised drinking—Reducing the risks: The School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project.
      ,
      • McBride N.
      • Midford R.
      • Farringdon F.
      • Phillips M.
      Early results from a school alcohol harm minimization study: The School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project.
      ]. Yet the literature on parent provision of alcohol to youth suggests that allowing underage drinking at home is associated with more problematic youth drinking. Longitudinal studies have consistently linked parent provision of alcohol to earlier initiation, higher levels of alcohol use, more drunkenness and binge drinking, and greater increases in use over time among youth [
      • Ryan S.M.
      • Jorm A.F.
      • Lubman D.I.
      Parenting factors associated with reduced adolescent alcohol use: A systematic review of longitudinal studies.
      ,
      • Kaynak O.
      • Winters K.C.
      • Cacciola J.
      • et al.
      Providing alcohol for underage youth: What messages should we be sending parents?.
      ,
      • Komro K.A.
      • Maldonado-Molina M.M.
      • Tobler A.L.
      • et al.
      Effects of home access and availability of alcohol on young adolescents' alcohol use.
      , but see
      • Foley K.L.
      • Altman D.
      • Durant R.H.
      • Wolfson M.
      Adults' approval and adolescents' alcohol use.
      ] even when prior youth alcohol use is controlled [
      • McMorris B.J.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Kim M.J.
      • et al.
      Influence of family factors and supervised alcohol use on adolescent alcohol use and harms: Similarities between youth in different alcohol policy contexts.
      ]. We found no studies of parent provision of cigarettes to youth.
      Another way parents and family members may provide antisocial opportunities to youth is by including children in family member substance use. For example, asking or allowing children to get, open, or pour alcoholic drinks for family members is a common practice. In one study, 33% of parents reported that their fifth-grade child had been involved in family member drinking [
      • Peterson P.L.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Abbott R.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      Disentangling the effects of parental drinking, family management, and parental alcohol norms on current drinking by black and white adolescents.
      ]. Yet very few studies have investigated links between child substance use and child involvement in family member substance use. In one longitudinal study, child involvement in parent drinking predicted child past year alcohol use and drunkenness [
      • Komro K.A.
      • Maldonado-Molina M.M.
      • Tobler A.L.
      • et al.
      Effects of home access and availability of alcohol on young adolescents' alcohol use.
      ]. A second longitudinal study of alcohol use found that child involvement in family member drinking predicted child alcohol use, even when controlling family management, parent drinking, and parent alcohol norms [
      • Peterson P.L.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Abbott R.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      Disentangling the effects of parental drinking, family management, and parental alcohol norms on current drinking by black and white adolescents.
      ]. A study of child involvement in family member smoking found a bivariate association with onset of child daily smoking that did not remain significant when parent smoking, family management, and family bonding were controlled [
      • Hill K.G.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • et al.
      Family influences on the risk of daily smoking initiation.
      ].

      Family management

      The social development model [
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      The social development model: A theory of antisocial behavior.
      ] and other theories focused on social learning and social control have identified family management as a key predictor of child substance use. Good family management practices include frequent parental monitoring; moderate, consistent discipline; clear rules and expectations; and praise for good behavior [
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      The social development model: A theory of antisocial behavior.
      ]. Family management is a key target in multiple tested effective youth substance use prevention programs [
      Blueprints for healthy youth development.
      ], and has been linked repeatedly to a lower probability of teen alcohol use, delayed onset, and lower levels of use among teens who drink [
      • Ryan S.M.
      • Jorm A.F.
      • Lubman D.I.
      Parenting factors associated with reduced adolescent alcohol use: A systematic review of longitudinal studies.
      ,
      • McMorris B.J.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Kim M.J.
      • et al.
      Influence of family factors and supervised alcohol use on adolescent alcohol use and harms: Similarities between youth in different alcohol policy contexts.
      ,
      • Peterson P.L.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Abbott R.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      Disentangling the effects of parental drinking, family management, and parental alcohol norms on current drinking by black and white adolescents.
      ,
      • Kosterman R.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Guo J.
      • et al.
      The dynamics of alcohol and marijuana initiation: Patterns and predictors of first use in adolescence.
      ]. Studies also have linked good family management to a lower probability of teen smoking [
      • Chassin L.
      • Presson C.C.
      • Rose J.
      • et al.
      Parenting style and smoking-specific parenting practices as predictors of adolescent smoking onset.
      ,
      • Hill K.G.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • et al.
      Family influences on the risk of daily smoking initiation.
      ] and marijuana use [
      • Kosterman R.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Guo J.
      • et al.
      The dynamics of alcohol and marijuana initiation: Patterns and predictors of first use in adolescence.
      ]. Given the importance of family management in predicting youth substance use, it is important to test whether substance-specific parenting practices contribute uniquely to youth substance use when family management is modeled.

      Other family factors

      A large body of research links parent substance use and norms to child substance use. Studies have demonstrated parent-child congruence in a general tendency to use substances [
      • Bailey J.A.
      • Hill K.G.
      • Oesterle S.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      Linking substance use and problem behavior across three generations.
      ,
      • Merikangas K.R.
      • Stolar M.
      • Stevens D.E.
      • et al.
      Familial transmission of substance use disorders.
      ], as well as in the use of specific substances, including alcohol [
      • Hingson R.
      • White A.
      New research findings since the 2007 Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking: A review.
      ,
      • Handley E.D.
      • Chassin L.
      Alcohol-specific parenting as a mechanism of parental drinking and alcohol use disorder risk on adolescent alcohol use onset.
      ], cigarettes [
      • Bailey J.A.
      • Hill K.G.
      • Guttmannova K.
      • et al.
      Associations between parental and grandparental marijuana use and child substance use norms in a prospective, three-generation study.
      ,
      • Gillman S.E.
      • Rende R.
      • Boergers J.
      • et al.
      Parental smoking and adolescent smoking initiation: An intergenerational perspective on tobacco control.
      ], and marijuana [
      • Bailey J.A.
      • Hill K.G.
      • Guttmannova K.
      • et al.
      Associations between parental and grandparental marijuana use and child substance use norms in a prospective, three-generation study.
      ]. Several studies have shown links between parent substance-related norms and child substance use [
      • Andrews J.A.
      • Hops H.
      • Ary D.
      • et al.
      Parental influence on early adolescent substance use: Specific and nonspecific effects.
      ,
      • Wood M.D.
      • Read J.P.
      • Mitchell R.E.
      • Brand N.H.
      Do parents still matter? Parent and peer influences on alcohol involvement among recent high school graduates.
      ]; however, studies in this area have often relied on children's perceptions of parent norms as opposed to parent reports of their own norms. To examine the unique relationship between substance-specific parenting practices and child substance use, this study included measures of parent binge drinking and cigarette and marijuana use, as well as measures of parents' norms about alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana.

      Time ordering of parenting practices and child substance use

      This study used longitudinal data to test whether youth substance use was predicted by family rules about alcohol, cigarette, and drug use; parent provision of alcohol and cigarettes; or child involvement in family member alcohol or cigarette use. Correct time ordering of predictors and outcomes is important to understand associations between parenting practices and child substance use, particularly for family rules about substance use. Further, it is important to consider the timescale of the processes under study [
      • Collins L.M.
      • Graham J.
      The effect of the timing and spacing of observations in longitudinal studies of tobacco and other drug use: Temporal design considerations.
      ]. For example, child involvement in family member smoking could have both immediate effects on child smoking if the child takes a cigarette for her/himself while fetching one for a family member and long-term effects on child smoking if the child becomes desensitized over time to handling tobacco products. This study tests both short- and long-term relationships between substance-specific parenting practices and child substance use by testing concurrent models, in which parenting practices and child substance use are measured at the same time, and lagged models, in which parenting practices are measured 1 year before child substance use.

      Methods

      Participants and Procedures

      Data were drawn from the Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP) and The Intergenerational Project (TIP). TIP families (n = 383) were identified from among participants in SSDP, an ongoing, longitudinal study (see
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Kosterman R.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • et al.
      Promoting positive adult functioning through social development intervention in childhood: Long-term effects from the Seattle Social Development Project.
      ,
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Kosterman R.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • et al.
      Effects of social development intervention in childhood 15 years later.
      for details). TIP began in 2002, and included SSDP participants who became parents, the oldest biological child with whom they had regular contact, and a second caregiver when present. TIP used an accelerated longitudinal design; rolling enrollment added new families to the sample as SSDP participants had their first child. Data collections were tied to the child's birthday. Table 1 displays sample demographic data.
      Table 1Sample demographics (full sample)
      Mean or proportionRange
      Child female49%
      Child age at wave 191–13
      Child age at wave 7161–22
      SSDP parent age at wave 12726–30
      SSDP parent age at wave 73635–39
      SSDP parent age at child birth24.215–36
      1+ parent with 4-year degree33%
      Family public assistance receipt42% cumulative23%–30% in waves 1–7
      Second caregiver is parent/parent figure88% cumulative71%–89% in waves 1–7
      The current analyses used seven waves of data collected between 2002 and 2011. Across waves, recruitment averaged 82% and retention averaged 90%. SSDP mothers and married SSDP parents were more likely to be eligible (i.e., have regular, face-to-face contact with the child) than SSDP fathers and unmarried SSDP parents. Families with Asian American parents or parents who received free or reduced-price lunch in grades 5–7 were slightly less likely to be recruited. Retention was not consistently related to SSDP parent cigarette use, marijuana use, or binge drinking at baseline; free lunch eligibility in childhood; gender; marital status; or receipt of public assistance. The University of Washington Institutional Review Board approved procedures for SSDP and TIP. Parents and children ages 18+ gave informed consent. Parents gave permission for children under age 18, and children assented. Most of the “children” were adolescents; however, we use the term “child” to denote that they are the offspring of the parent(s) in the study.

      Measures

      Child substance use

      Past year alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use were reported by children at each wave. Cigarette and alcohol use were assessed beginning at age 6, and marijuana use was assessed beginning at age 10. Each of these three indicators of substance use was coded 0 (no past year use) or 1 (any past year use).

      Parenting practices

      The current paper focuses on parent influences on child substance use. Although most second caregivers were parents or parent figures (biological, step-, adoptive, or foster parent; live-in partner of parent), some were not (e.g., grandmothers). When the second caregiver was a parent or parent figure, SSDP parent and second caregiver practices were combined as described below. Otherwise, the sole parent figure's parenting practices were included in analyses.

      Substance-specific parenting practices

      At each wave, SSDP parents and second caregivers reported whether the family had “clear rules and expectations” for their children about, respectively, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and using drugs (1, NO!; 2, no; 3, yes; 4, YES!). Parents and children each responded to two items assessing, respectively, child involvement in family member alcohol (getting, pouring, or opening a drink) or cigarette use (getting or lighting a cigarette); if either parent or the child reported child involvement, then involvement was coded as 1 (otherwise 0). Child use of alcohol and cigarettes (separately) with parent or second caregiver permission was reported by parents. If either parent reported permitting the child to use, child use with permission was coded as 1 (otherwise 0). Measures of marijuana-specific parenting practices were not available; clear rules and expectations about “drugs” (including marijuana), parent provision of alcohol or cigarettes, and child involvement in family smoking were used as proxies for marijuana-specific practices.
      Family management items captured child reports of clear family rules, parent monitoring, and praise for good behavior at each wave. When two parents were present, items were averaged across parents. Responses were on a 4-point Likert scale (1, NO!; 2, no; 3, yes; 4, YES!). Continuous scale scores used in analyses averaged items at each wave (mean α = .65). Higher scores indicated better management.

      Parent substance use

      At each wave, SSDP parents and second caregivers reported their own frequency of past month binge drinking (five or more drinks in a 2-hour period), cigarette use, and marijuana use. Frequency variables were dichotomized to indicate any past month use of each substance. When two parents were present, parent use was scored as 1 if either reported use (otherwise 0). Otherwise, the sole parent figure's report determined past month use.

      Parent pro-substance norms

      Parents answered a series of questions about whether it is “OK for adults” to drink alcohol, get drunk, smoke cigarettes, and use marijuana; responses were on a 4-point Likert scale (1, NO!; 2, no; 3, yes; 4, YES!). Multiple items assessed alcohol norms; items were averaged across parents when two parents were present, then these combined items were averaged. Single items assessed norms about cigarettes and marijuana; these were averaged across parents when two parents were participating. Higher scores indicated more pro-use norms.

      Control variables

      Controls included child age (the “time” variable for repeated measures), child sex, SSDP parent race/ethnicity and age when the child was born, and highest level of parent education (either parent). The child's primary caregiver reported on family receipt of public assistance at each wave (1, yes; 0, no).

      Analysis

      Multilevel modeling with a Bernoulli link function in HLM 6.0 software was used to model repeated measures and dichotomous outcome variables. Because children were born in different years, we tested for potential birth cohort differences [
      • Miyazaki Y.
      • Raudenbush S.W.
      Tests for linkage of multiple cohorts in an accelerated longitudinal design.
      ]. Testing revealed no evidence of child birth cohort effects; cohorts were combined for analysis. One series of three, fixed-effects models predicted, respectively, child past year alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use from concurrently measured predictors. A second series of fixed-effects models included predictors measured 1 year before outcomes to establish hypothesized causal ordering among predictors and outcomes. Where predictors were measured repeatedly (e.g., parent substance use, parenting practices), they were modeled as time-varying; otherwise they were modeled as time-fixed (e.g., child sex, parent race/ethnicity). Few parents reported allowing their child to use cigarettes (Table 2). Analyses of child alcohol use included a measure of child alcohol use with permission; analyses of child cigarette and marijuana use included a combined measure of child cigarette or alcohol use with permission. Virtually no child substance use was reported before age 10. Sample sizes for children ages 19–22 were small. Therefore, analyses presented here included children ages 10–18 years (M = 13, N = 224).
      Table 2Prevalence and means of key study variables
      VariableCumulative %Range across waves 1–7
      Child past year substance use
       Alcohol26%0%–14%
       Cigarettes16%0%–9%
       Marijuana24%0%–14%
      Substance-specific parenting practices
       Family rules about alcoholM = 3.5–3.7
       Family rules about cigarettesM = 3.5–3.8
       Family rules about drugsM = 3.6–3.9
       Child alcohol use with permission12%3%–9%
       Child cigarette use with permission2%.4%–1.4%
       Child involvement in family alcohol use34%10%–25%
       Child involvement in family cigarette use21%5%–17%
      Family managementM = 3.4–3.8
      Parent substance use (past month)
       Binge drinking36%13%–19%
       Cigarette use48%29%–46%
       Marijuana use29%14%–21%
      Parent substance use norms
       Pro-alcohol normsM = 2.0–2.9
       Pro-cigarette normsM = 1.9–2.8
       Pro-marijuana normsM = 1.8–3.1

      Results

      Table 2 shows the prevalence of key study variables. More children reported any alcohol or marijuana use than cigarette use over the seven waves of data collection. Most parents reported that their family had rules about substance use. Child involvement in family alcohol and cigarette use were common, but child use of either drug with parent permission was rare. Intercorrelations among general and substance-specific parenting practices were small or nonsignificant (not shown).
      Table 3 shows results of models predicting child past year alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use from concurrently measured parenting practices. Family rules about substance use were unrelated to the child substance use outcomes. Child use of alcohol or cigarettes with parent permission uniquely predicted child cigarette use (odds ratio [OR] = 7.14), but not marijuana use; parent provision of alcohol did not predict child alcohol use. Child involvement in family alcohol use predicted greater odds of child alcohol use (OR = 4.29), and child involvement in family smoking predicted greater odds of child cigarette (OR = 7.16) and marijuana use (OR = 7.64). Better family management predicted a lower likelihood of child past year alcohol use (OR = .27), and just missed significance for child cigarette (OR = .42, p = .07) and marijuana use (OR = .45, p = .05). None of the parent substance use measures predicted child substance use when parenting practices, norms, and controls were included in models.
      Table 3Results of multilevel models predicting child past year substance use from concurrently measured predictors (robust standard errors, N = 224)
      Fixed effectChild alcohol useChild cigarette useChild marijuana use
      CoefficientSEp-ValueCoefficientSEp-ValueCoefficientSEp-Value
      Intercept6.9653.14.028−.2114.22.961−1.2944.03.749
       Parent age at child birth−.401.13.004−.155.16.342−.071.15.645
       Parent education.007.19.971.029.29.921.122.20.546
       Child female.924.50.0661.655.68.017.983.60.108
       Parent African American−1.388.50.006−.648.61.293−1.416.72.053
       Parent Native American−.460.78.557−.664.97.494.262.91.774
       Parent Asian American−.842.59.161−1.3521.02.187−.9121.37.506
      Child age (time).822.95.388−1.8121.27.1562.6271.72.127
       Parent age at child birth−.044.05.398.180.07.015−.068.08.425
       Parent education.008.11.946−.456.11.000−.063.13.639
       Child female.187.24.449−.261.29.372−.667.30.030
       Parent African American.413.25.101.099.23.669.778.40.056
       Parent Native American−.570.37.127−.313.52.554−.252.42.552
       Parent Asian American.572.34.099−.612.28.030.681.83.415
      Child age2 (time2)−.170.08.056−.188.08.019−.378.10.001
      Family welfare receipt−.415.45.365−.795.51.123−1.031.45.024
      Family management−1.306.37.001−.863.47.069−.796.41.054
      Parent binge drinking−.515.38.181
      Parent alcohol norms.174.25.489
      Family rules about alc.396.28.163
      Child involved in family alc use1.456.40.001
      Child alc use with permission.224.60.713
      Parent cigarette use.124.23.603
      Parent cigarette norms.189.27.482
      Family rules about smoking.219.33.512
      Child involved in family cig use1.969.75.0092.034.50.000
      Child alc or cig use with permission1.966.69.005.307.58.597
      Parent marijuana use−.019.04.683
      Parent marijuana norms.253.26.348
      Family rules about drugs.438.37.243
      Bold values indicate statistical significance (p < .05); italics indicate marginal significance (p < .10).
      Alc = alcohol; cig = cigarette.
      In lagged models (Table 4), neither family rules about substance use nor parent provision of alcohol or cigarettes predicted child substance use 1 year later. Child involvement in family alcohol use predicted a higher probability of child alcohol use 1 year later (OR = 2.84). Child involvement in family smoking predicted child smoking 1 year later (OR = 4.21), and was marginally related to child marijuana use 1 year later (OR = 2.86, p = .10). Good family management predicted lower odds of child cigarette use 1 year later (OR = .14), but not the probability of child alcohol or marijuana use. Parent smoking predicted a higher probability of child cigarette use the following year (OR = 1.70). More positive parent norms about alcohol predicted higher odds of child alcohol use 1 year later (OR = 1.73).
      Table 4Results of multilevel models predicting child past year substance use from predictors measured 1 year prior (robust standard errors, N = 185)
      Fixed effectChild alcohol useChild cigarette useChild marijuana use
      CoefficientSEp-ValueCoefficientSEp-ValueCoefficientSEp-Value
      Intercept2.4582.94.4058.5305.87.148−2.3753.83.536
       Parent age at child birth−.264.12.034−.507.24.037−.135.14.340
       Parent education.134.18.470−.473.31.133.119.23.610
       Child female.782.51.1302.789.83.001.884.70.212
       Parent African American−1.693.72.020−1.715.82.038−1.7181.07.112
       Parent Native American1.046.73.157.8351.06.434.2271.05.830
       Parent Asian American−.180.69.797−1.1792.15.584.023.79.977
      Child age (time).2791.10.8001.2511.75.4771.3971.57.376
       Parent age at child birth.039.06.550.013.09.892−.003.07.970
       Parent education−.149.08.086−.080.12.530−.032.10.761
       Child female−.454.22.043−.810.38.034−.735.31.021
       Parent African American.458.31.151.818.48.095.580.52.275
       Parent Native American−.245.30.420−.916.57.109−.178.42.677
       Parent Asian American.108.28.706.482.97.622−.232.44.605
      Child age2 (time2)−.152.05.004−.357.10.001−.220.08.010
      Family welfare receipt.075.41.858−.652.51.207−.005.47.992
      Family management−.422.36.253−1.987.59.001−.373.41.364
      Parent binge drinking.023.15.887
      Parent alcohol norms.532.23.025
      Family rules about alc.041.36.909
      Child involved in family alc use1.042.41.012
      Child alc use with permission.573.56.312
      Parent cigarette use.506.24.038
      Parent cigarette norms−.128.28.651
      Family rules about smoking.645.47.173
      Child involved in family cig use1.438.53.0081.051.63.097
      Child alc or cig use with permission1.080.73.144.783.69.262
      Parent marijuana use.003.03.939
      Parent marijuana norms.327.20.101
      Family rules about drugs.650.46.159
      Bold values indicate statistical significance (p < .05); italics indicate marginal significance (p < .10).
      Alc = alcohol; cig = cigarette.

      Discussion

      This study investigated the association between substance-specific parenting practices and child use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana in a prospective, longitudinal study. Models tested the predictive power of both concurrent parenting practices and practices measured 1 year before child substance use outcomes. The main finding was that child involvement in family member substance use (getting, opening, or pouring alcoholic drinks; getting or lighting cigarettes) predicted an increased probability of child substance use both concurrently and 1 year later, even when controlling parent substance use, pro-substance norms, and family management. Family rules about substance use and parent provision of alcohol or cigarettes were not consistently related to child alcohol, cigarette, or marijuana use.
      The present findings linking child involvement in family member substance use and child substance use were robust, with significant associations observed in five of the six models tested and a marginal association in the sixth. Findings are in line with the small body of work showing that child involvement in family alcohol use predicts an increased risk of child alcohol use [
      • Komro K.A.
      • Maldonado-Molina M.M.
      • Tobler A.L.
      • et al.
      Effects of home access and availability of alcohol on young adolescents' alcohol use.
      ,
      • Peterson P.L.
      • Hawkins J.D.
      • Abbott R.D.
      • Catalano R.F.
      Disentangling the effects of parental drinking, family management, and parental alcohol norms on current drinking by black and white adolescents.
      ]. This practice was common in our community sample: 34% of families reported that children had gotten or opened alcoholic drinks; 21% reported that children had gotten or lit cigarettes for family members. Findings suggest that this practice may be a potential target for family-based interventions aiming to reduce youth substance use.
      Family rules about alcohol, cigarette, and drug use were not related to child use in the current study, either when measured concurrently or in the year before child substance use. We found neither a negative association, consistent with preventive establishment of rules, nor a positive association, consistent with reactive establishment of rules. This finding is in line with a recent review [
      • Ryan S.M.
      • Jorm A.F.
      • Lubman D.I.
      Parenting factors associated with reduced adolescent alcohol use: A systematic review of longitudinal studies.
      ] concluding that there is no link between family rules about alcohol use and youth drinking. It conflicts with the more limited literature showing that rules about cigarette use may predict less teen smoking [
      • Andersen M.R.
      • Leroux B.G.
      • Bricker J.B.
      • et al.
      Antismoking parenting practices are associated with reduced rates of adolescent smoking.
      ,
      • Clark P.I.
      • Schooley M.W.
      • Pierce B.
      • et al.
      Impact of home smoking rules on smoking patterns among adolescents and young adults.
      ]. These prior studies on smoking rules were cross sectional, however, and included limited measures—if any—of confounds like those included here. The one study we found that included measures of general parenting practices found no link between household smoking rules and child intention to smoke or smoking behavior [
      • Huver R.M.E.
      • Engels R.C.M.E.
      • Vermulst A.A.
      • de Vries H.
      Is parenting style a context for smoking-specific parenting practices?.
      ].
      Parent provision of substances was rare in this sample, with 12% of parents reporting allowing their child to drink alcohol and 2% of parents allowing their child to use cigarettes. These prevalences are in line with those from Project Northland Chicago, where about 10% of children and 6% of parents reported parent provision of alcohol to the child [
      • Komro K.A.
      • Maldonado-Molina M.M.
      • Tobler A.L.
      • et al.
      Effects of home access and availability of alcohol on young adolescents' alcohol use.
      ], but are much lower than the prevalence of parent-supervised drinking reported by McMorris and colleagues [
      • McMorris B.J.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Kim M.J.
      • et al.
      Influence of family factors and supervised alcohol use on adolescent alcohol use and harms: Similarities between youth in different alcohol policy contexts.
      ] in a statewide sample of Washington State eighth graders (35%). Parent provision of alcohol or cigarettes was not consistently related to child use across the six models tested; only one significant association with concurrent child cigarette use was observed. This finding is in contrast to prior longitudinal studies [
      • Komro K.A.
      • Maldonado-Molina M.M.
      • Tobler A.L.
      • et al.
      Effects of home access and availability of alcohol on young adolescents' alcohol use.
      ,
      • McMorris B.J.
      • Catalano R.F.
      • Kim M.J.
      • et al.
      Influence of family factors and supervised alcohol use on adolescent alcohol use and harms: Similarities between youth in different alcohol policy contexts.
      ,
      • Danielsson A.K.
      • Romelsjo A.
      • Tengstrom A.
      Heavy episodic drinking in early adolescence: Gender-specific risk and protective factors.
      ], suggesting that parental provision of alcohol increases risk of youth drinking. Prior studies, however, have not simultaneously included controls for other substance-related parenting practices, family management, and parent current substance use. Additional longitudinal studies with good controls for potential confounds like other substance-specific and general parenting practices are needed.

      Limitations and strengths

      Several limitations should be kept in mind when interpreting the current findings. First, measures of marijuana-specific parenting were not available. Second, the lack of significant findings about measures of family rules predicting substance use may have been affected by the high means observed for these variables, which may indicate ceiling effects. Further, details about the specific content of family rules were not available. Third, few parents reported allowing their child to use either alcohol or cigarettes with permission, and these low prevalences may have reduced power to detect associations with child substance use. These limitations are balanced by important strengths, which include the use of prospective, longitudinal data from both parents and children, including parent and child self-reports of substance use; inclusion of known family predictors of youth substance use as covariates; and consideration of both lagged and concurrent effects of predictors.
      Future research should aim to understand the prevalence of child involvement in family member substance use more generally and explore why this parenting practice predicts child substance use. Possible mechanisms include desensitization of children to handling substances, implied parental approval of substance use, and increased child access to substances. Existing prevention programming often focuses on family management and rule setting around substance use. The present findings support the utility of additional components aimed at reducing child involvement in family member alcohol and cigarette use. Public health messaging urging parents not to involve their children in family member alcohol or cigarette use also may be helpful in reducing youth substance use.
      As more states legalize nonmedical marijuana use for adults, more parents may use marijuana. Research on marijuana-specific parenting practices, their association with child marijuana use, and whether they are influenced by marijuana legalization is urgently needed. In particular, it is important to understand whether children are involved in family member use of marijuana, and, if so, whether this practice is related to child use of marijuana or other substances.

      Acknowledgments

      We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of participating families, as well as the SDRG Survey Research Division for their data collection efforts.

      Funding Sources

      This study was supported by grant #R01DA023089 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The funding agency had no role in the design or execution of this study or the decision to submit the article for publication. Findings and conclusions reflect the points of view of the authors, not those of the funding agency. Portions of these findings were presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Child Development, Austin, TX, April 2017.

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      Linked Article

      • Making Connections Between Parenting Practices and Adolescent Substance Use
        Journal of Adolescent HealthVol. 62Issue 6
        • Preview
          What can parents do to delay, reduce, or entirely prevent their children's smoking, drinking, and drug use behaviors? This is the basic question underlying much of the research investigating the connections between parental characteristics, actions, and behaviors and substance use in their children. That parental own alcohol, tobacco, and drug use are associated with significant risks for these outcomes in their children is fairly well-understood [1–6]. However, from a preventive standpoint, it would be more useful to know whether, and if so how, parents could provide positive and protective influences against such developmental trajectories.
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