Father Factor in Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father. Source: Hoffmann, John P. “The Community Context of Family Structure and Adolescent Drug Use.” Journal of Marriage and Family 64 (May 2002): 314-330. In a study of 6,500 children from the ADDHEALTH database, father closeness was negatively correlated with the number of a child’s friends who smoke, drink, and smoke marijuana. Closeness was also correlated with a child’s use of alcohol, cigarettes, and hard drugs and was connected to family structure. Intact families ranked higher on father closeness than single-parent families. Source: National Fatherhood Initiative. “Family Structure, Father Closeness, & Drug Abuse.” Gaithersburg, MD: National Fatherhood Initiative, 2004: 20-22. Youths are more at risk of first substance use without a highly involved father. Each unit increase in father involvement is associated with 1% reduction in substance use. Living in an intact family also decreases the risk of first substance use.
Source: Bronte-Tinkew, Jacinta, Kristin A. Moore, Randolph C. Capps, and Jonathan Zaff. “The influence of father involvement on youth risk behaviors among adolescents: A comparison of native-born and immigrant families.” Article in Press. Social Science Research December 2004. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, researchers examined the relationship between parent-child involvement, such as shared communication, shared activity participation, and emotional closeness and three adolescent alcohol outcomes, including alcohol use, alcohol related problems, and risky behavior co-occurring with alcohol use. This study investigated both paternal and maternal involvement in understanding adolescent alcohol outcomes. The results indicate that shared communication with fathers and emotional closeness to fathers, but not shared activity participation, had a unique impact on each alcohol outcome and were not related to maternal involvement. Source: Goncya, E.A., & van Dulmena, M.H. (2010). Fathers do make a difference: Parental involvement and adolescent alcohol use. Fathering, 8, 93-108. A study with 441 college students revealed that a poor parental bond with one’s father was highly predictive of depression, a well-known predictor of alcohol abuse and related problems for both females and males. These findings suggest evidence for parental influences on pathways to alcohol abuse through depression. Source: Patock-Peckham, J. A., & Morgan-Lopez, A. A. (2007). College drinking behaviors: Mediational links between parenting styles, parental bonds, depression, and alcohol problems. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 21, 297–306 A study of 296 at-risk adolescents whose fathers were drug abusers revealed that paternal smoking and drug use lead to strained father-child relationships. This weakened relationship led to greater adolescent maladjustment with family and friends and a higher risk for adolescent drug use and smoking. Fathers who smoke cigarettes were less likely to enforce antismoking rules for their children and had weaker bonds in terms of adolescent admiration and emulation. Source: Brook, D. W., Brook, J. S., Rubenstone, E., Zhang, C., & Gerochi, C. (2006). Cigarette smoking in the adolescent children of drug-abusing fathers. Pediatrics, 117, 1339-1347. In a study using a sample of 86 African American adolescents, the researchers assessed the effects of father’s absence on adolescent drug use. The results revealed that boys from father-absent homes were more likely than those from father-present homes to use drugs. Interestingly, the results didn’t reveal any difference between father-present and father-absent girls’ self-reported drug usage. For girls, friends’ drug use was the main predictor of drug use, while father absence was for boys. African American boys from father-absent homes might...
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