Parenting Strategies as Influences of Teen Drinking via Self Esteem: An Important Area for Family Policy

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Zhiyong Yang, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Globally, in developing as well as developed countries, rampant increases in teen drinking are widely recognized as major threats to individual, family, and societal well-being. Parenting strategies influence drinking and related behaviors, leading to their incorporation in national family, health, and substance abuse policy programs. Drinking teens become drinking adults, harming current and future family generations in a vicious ‘‘recycling.’’ Longitudinal micro-level analyses from late grade to late high school shows that parenting strategies lead to, or can curb teen drinking, both directly and indirectly, through self-esteem. Parenting often overemphasizes control and underemphasizes positive communications (responsiveness). Particular parenting strategies decrease teen drinking directly or indirectly, by enhancing or detracting child self-esteem, or both. Policies targeting parents via communication and intervention campaigns, to reduce their teens’ drinking, offer a fruitful complementary tool to targeting teens directly, and to traditional policy tools. The emphasis of ‘‘extant’’ parent-targeted public policy campaigns is misplaced. We must reach parents earlier, in mid-grade-school years. Behavioral control should not be the dominant theme—psychological control must be strongly discouraged, and responsiveness encouraged, fostering long-term self-esteem and family health.

Additional Information

Journal of Macromarketing, 30(4), 331–341
Language: English
Date: 2010
teen drinking, family policy, parenting strategies, drinking and self-esteem trajectories, latent growth modeling, mediation

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