Family risk factors for alcohol-related consequences and poor adjustment in fraternity and sorority members: exploring the role of parent-child conflict
Turner, A.P.; Larimer, M.E.; Sarason, I.G.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol 61(6): 818-826
ISSN/ISBN: 0096-882X PMID: 11188487 Accession: 046075965
The relationship between perceptions of parent-child conflict and alcohol-related consequences was examined in a sample of first-year fraternity and sorority members. Members (N = 302) were asked to complete measures of conflict with their mothers and fathers and report on parent problem drinking. Drinking rates, alcohol-related consequences, depression, and global psychological distress were assessed 1 year later (N = 233). From a final sample with complete mother and father information (N = 202), parent-child conflict at baseline significantly predicted alcohol-related consequences 1 year later for all students. Father-child conflict was a significantly better predictor for male students. Parent histories of problem drinking did not account for this relationship. Although male students reported substantially higher rates of drinking, the relationship between drinking and alcohol-related consequences was stronger among female students. Parent-child conflict at baseline also predicted adjustment to college at 1-year follow-up. Students who perceived higher levels of mother-child and father-child conflict reported higher levels of depression. Students who perceived higher levels of father-child conflict reported higher levels of global psychological distress. Results indicate that perceptions of conflict in specific parent-child relationships constitute a risk factor for poor college adjustment and the experience of alcohol-related consequences.