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Context of early adolescent alcohol use: First results from a longitudinal Australian cohort


Aiken, A and Wadolowski, M and Bucello, C and Mattick, R and Najman, J and Kypri, K and Slade, T and Hutchinson, D and Bruno, RB and McBride, N, Context of early adolescent alcohol use: First results from a longitudinal Australian cohort, Drug and Alcohol Review, 18-21 November 2012, Melbourne, Victoria, pp. 31. ISSN 0959-5236 (2012) [Conference Extract]

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Issue: Harmful use of alcohol is a leading cause of disease burden for young Australians. Little is known about the context of adolescent alcohol initiation and the development of harmful patterns of consumption. This research reports descriptive baseline data from a national Australian longitudinal cohort. Approach: Parent-child dyads were recruited nationally via NSW, Tasmanian and WA secondary schools. During 2010/11, 1929 parent–child dyads completed baseline surveys. Measures include: alcohol use and harms; rules; parental style and monitoring; family relationships, confl ict and relations; peer substance use and approval; and delinquency. Key Findings: Sixty-eight percent of adolescents (M = 12.5 yrs) had tried alcohol. Parent factors including frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption (÷2 (3, N=1880) = 79.27, P < 0.00005; ÷2 (3, N=1879) = 63.75, P < 0.00005), drinking alcohol in the presence of their child (÷2 (3, N=1879) = 81.63, P < 0.00005) and younger age of alcohol initiation (÷2 (1, N=1785) = 20.13, P < 0.00005) were associated with adolescent alcohol initiation. Children with higher levels of rule breaking and aggressive behaviour (÷2 (1, N=1903) = 44.43, P < 0.0005; ÷2 (1, N=1893) = 13.40, P = 0.0003), who were male (÷2 (1, N=1904) = 6.72, P = 0.0095) and who had at least some friends who had tried alcohol (÷2 (3, N=1896) = 506.94, P < 0.00005) and who approved of drinking alcohol (÷2 (2, N=1903) = 91.21, P < 0.00005) were more likely to have tried alcohol themselves. Implications: To address current levels of binge drinking and long term harms from alcohol, it is essential to understand the context of early-adolescent alcohol use and how harmful trajectories may develop. Conclusion: Future analyses of this cohort will provide insight into the impact of contextual factors on adolescent alcohol use and inform public health policy and prevention.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Behavioural neuroscience
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bruno, RB (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
ID Code:83691
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2013-03-20
Last Modified:2013-03-20
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