Foxcroft, D.R., Lowe, G. and May, Carl
Adolescent alcohol use and family influences: attributive statements by teenage drinkers
Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 1, (1), .
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Although it is now well established that the majority of young people are introduced to alcohol within the family, further understanding is needed of teenagers' own perceptions of drinking behaviour. As part of a large scale regional survey, young people reported on aspects of their drinking behaviour. This article presents the results of a qualitative analysis of detailed attributive statements made by one randomly chosen group of 15–16-year-olds. These statements were made at the end of a questionnaire about young people, alcohol and family life, and the statements reflect these issues. On the whole, this sample of adolescents reported drinking sensibly and appropriately, and did not see their drinking as a deviant behaviour. They also commented on several important intra-familial factors.
The positive role of parental knowledge and sanction, and also of appropriate parental and family drinking, seem important for the development of sensible adolescent alcohol use. Furthermore, the potential negative influence of poor family relationships was highlighted. These family factors are consistent with quantitative data supporting the family socialization theory of adolescent alcohol use. Family social learning and family process seem to be important influences on adolescent alcohol use, and may provide an important base and focus for alcohol education, intervention and treatment strategies.
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