The mediating role of alcohol-related memory associations on the relation between perceived parental drinking and the onset of adolescents' alcohol use
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Number of pages
SourceAddiction, 108, 3, (2013), pp. 526-533
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
SW OZ BSI ON
SubjectDevelopmental Psychopathology; Social Development
Aims The aim of the current study was to examine the mediating role of alcohol-related memory associations in the relation between perceived parental drinking and the onset of adolescents' alcohol use. Gender and grade were also included in the analyses. Design We tested a mediation model within a structural path modelling framework using longitudinal data (two waves). Setting and Participants The sample consisted of 608 Canadian adolescents (42.9% boys), who did not have any alcohol experiences at the first measurement. The adolescents were recruited from all grades 79 classes in a large school district in western Canada. Measurements Alcohol-related memory associations were tested with the Word Association Test. We used adolescent self-reports of alcohol use and parental drinking. Findings Results clearly showed a mediation effect of alcohol-related memory associations [estimate=0.023, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.0020.044). That is, parental drinking as perceived by the adolescent was related positively to alcohol-related memory associations, which in turn predicted adolescents' alcohol use a year later. Gender and grade were related to alcohol-related memory associations. That is, boys and adolescents of higher grades had more memory associations. Conclusions Children appear to form memory associations related to alcohol before they ever drink alcohol themselves, and these associations appear to mediate the link between their perceptions of their parents' drinking and their own initial alcohol use.
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