JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The Parental Bond and Alcohol Use Among Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Drinking Motives.

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use and alcohol-related problems represent a significant health concern. Few empirical researches focused on understanding the interrelationships and links between the parental bond, drinking motives, and alcohol use during adolescence.

OBJECTIVES: The present study examined the relationships between a supportive parental bond, drinking motives, and alcohol use, with a focus on the role of mediation.

METHODS: The sample comprised 298 adolescents, aged from 16 to 20 years. The technique of structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to assess the direct and indirect effects of the parental bond on alcohol use among adolescents through motives for drinking.

RESULTS: The relationship between the parental bond and frequency of alcohol use by adolescents was not mediated by any motives for drinking, neither for males nor females. Regarding the relationships between the parental bond and quantity of adolescent alcohol consumption, findings for females showed significant indirect effects of maternal bond on alcohol quantity, when coping, enhancement, and social drinking motives were entered as mediator variables. Rather, paternal bond did not predict drinking quantity, not even indirectly. On the contrary, results for males indicated that the parental bond was neither directly nor indirectly associated with adolescent alcohol use.

CONCLUSIONS/IMPORTANCE: Mothers are the relational fulcrum of the family, while fathers seem to maintain a more peripheral position. Gender differences are discussed on the basis of the different cultural and parental socialisation processes that operate for male and female adolescents.

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