Alcohol-related cognitions in children (aged 2-10) and how they are shaped by parental alcohol use: A systematic review
SourceDrug and Alcohol Dependence, 177, (2017), pp. 277-290
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Background: This systematic review aims to summarize the evidence of the impact of parental alcohol use on the acquisition of children's alcohol-related cognitions (alcohol-related knowledge, alcohol-related norms, alcohol expectancies) in the developmental period from age two to ten. Methods: A computer-assisted systematic literature search was performed in PubMed, PsychINFO, ERIC, and EMBASE. Overall, 20 out of the 3,406 unique articles identified in the first screening were included. Results: The results revealed that children acquire knowledge about alcohol already at age two and from age four on, they understand its use in adult culture. By the age of four, children have certain alcohol expectancies. The evidence of the impact of parental alcohol use on the acquisition of children's alcohol-related cognitions is inconsistent so far with studies showing positive and no effects. Unfortunately, the existing evidence is limited because most studies a) were conducted exclusively in the United States and more than two decades ago, b) used cross-sectional study designs, and c) used non-representative samples recruited using convenience sampling strategies. Conclusions: Research on children's alcohol-related cognitions is underdeveloped. To elucidate the conclusions about alcohol involvement in early life, studies with longitudinal study designs need to be conducted among representative samples of children and early adolescents by using age-appropriate measurement tools in a broader cultural context.
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