Research & Resources

An Examination of the Associations Between Depressive Symptoms, Perceived Parental Discipline, Alcohol Use, and Drinking-Related Consequences During the First Year of College: A Moderated Mediation Model

In this study, researchers conducted a longitudinal exploration of the effects of perceived parental alcohol-related discipline on the relationship between depressive symptoms, alcohol use, and negative drinking consequences during students’ transition into college. A total of 272 incoming college students completed web-based surveys before and after the transition into college and reported depressive symptoms, perceived alcohol-related discipline, alcohol use, and consequences of drinking experienced in the past 30 days. The model revealed that students with above-average perceptions of alcohol-related discipline displayed a negative association between depressive symptoms and alcohol use, which in turn was associated with experiencing fewer negative consequences of drinking. Findings suggested that perceptions of the parental alcohol-related discipline measured here (e.g., having a privilege taken away, being scolded or grounded) could be protective against alcohol risks among college students experiencing above-average depressive symptoms. Researchers proposed that parent-based alcohol interventions administered prior to matriculation should encourage parents of depressed students to clearly communicate the consequences of drinking to their child.

This paper, “An examination of the associations between depressive symptoms, perceived parental discipline, alcohol use, and drinking-related consequences during the first year of college: A moderated mediation model,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the Journal of affective disorders reports.

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