Drinking and motivations to drink among adolescent children of parents with alcohol problems

M Chalder, FJ Elgar, P Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: To study the influences of parental alcohol problems on adolescents' alcohol consumption and motivations to drink alcohol.

METHODS: A community sample of 1744 adolescents from schools in South Wales completed the 6-item Children of Alcoholics Screening Test, Drinking Motives Questionnaire, and survey measures of alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: Children of parents with alcohol problems constituted almost one-fifth of the sample group and were found to drink more frequently, more heavily, and more often alone than children of parents without alcohol problems. Parental alcohol problems were also related to internal motives to drink (e.g. coping) in their adolescent children. Across the entire sample, internal motives to drink interacted with parental alcohol problems in predicting alcohol consumption and drinking frequency.

CONCLUSION: Parental alcohol problems appeared to co-exist with an asocial pattern of alcohol consumption in adolescents that involves drinking alone and drinking to feel intoxicated or to forget about problems. In addition to the external, social motives to drink, which are shared by most adolescents, nearly one in five of the adolescents studied reported salient internal motives to drink that tended to coexist with alcohol problems in their parents.

Translated title of the contributionDrinking and Motivations to Drink among Adolescent Children of Parents with Alcohol Problems
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107 - 113
Number of pages7
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number1
Early online date20 Oct 2005
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Oxford University Press


  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Catchment Area (Health)
  • Child
  • Child of Impaired Parents
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Motivation
  • Parents
  • Wales


Dive into the research topics of 'Drinking and motivations to drink among adolescent children of parents with alcohol problems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this