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Early adolescent alcohol use: are sipping and drinking distinct?

Citation

Wadolowski, M and Hutchinson, D and Bruno, R and Aiken, A and Clare, P and Slade, T and Najman, J and Kypri, K and McBride, N and Mattick, RP, Early adolescent alcohol use: are sipping and drinking distinct?, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 39, (9) pp. 1805-1813. ISSN 0145-6008 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2015 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

DOI: doi:10.1111/acer.12826

Abstract

Background: Sipping alcohol is common during early adolescence, but research has ignored the distinction between sipping and drinking whole alcohol beverages, conflating the 2, or else simply classifying "sippers" as abstainers. Research has not addressed whether sippers are different to drinkers, in relation to variables known to be associated with adolescent alcohol consumption, or considered whether sipping and drinking behaviors may have quite different associations.

Methods: Parent-child dyads (N = 1,823) were recruited in 3 states from Australian grade 7 classes. Multinomial logistic analyses compared adolescents who had only had a sip/taste of alcohol (sippers) with adolescents who had consumed at least a whole drink (drinkers) in the past 6 months. The multivariate model assessed a broad range of demographics, parenting practices, peer influences, and adolescent externalizing and internalizing behaviors, and controlled for school clustering.

Results: Compared to drinkers, sippers were less likely to come from 1-parent households (odds ratio [OR] = 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.35 to 0.98); less likely to come from low-socioeconomic status (SES) households (OR = 0.54, 95% CI: 0.31 to 0.94); more likely to come from families where parents provide stricter alcohol-specific rules (OR = 1.21, 95% CI: 1.11 to 1.32), stricter monitoring of the child's activities (OR = 1.10, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.16), more consistent parenting practices (OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.23), and more positive family relationships (OR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.02 to 2.43); and report having fewer substance-using peers (OR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.70 to 0.91) and greater peer disapproval of any substance use (OR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.19 to 1.42). After adjustment for confounders, the associations with household composition and SES were no longer significant, but the familial and peer associations remained significant in the multivariate analysis, Χ2(40) = 1,493.06, p < 0.001.

Conclusions: Sipping alcohol has different associations with known predictors of adolescent alcohol use than drinking whole beverages, and sipping may be a distinct or separable behavior. Future research should better define quantities of early consumption and assess the relationship between early sipping and drinking on long-term outcomes separately.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:children, adolescents, alcohol, alcohol initiation, epidemiology
Research Division:Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Research Group:Psychology
Research Field:Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:106263
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-02-03
Last Modified:2017-04-12
Downloads:0

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