Parental alcohol use and risk of behavioral and emotional problems in offspring

Liam Mahedy, Gemma Hammerton, Alison Teyhan, Alexis C. Edwards, Kenneth S. Kendler, Simon C. Moore, Matthew Hickman, John MacLeod, Jon Heron

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

13 Citations (Scopus)
281 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective: The majority of studies that have examined parental alcohol use and offspring outcomes have either focused on exposure in the antenatal period or from clinical populations. This study sought to examine proximal and distal associations between parental alcohol use and offspring conduct problems and depressive symptoms in a population birth cohort. Methods: We used prospective data from a large UK based population cohort (ALSPAC) to investigate the association between parental alcohol use, measured in units, (assessed at ages 4 and 12 years) with childhood conduct trajectories, (assessed on six occasions from 4 to 13.5 years, n = 6,927), and adolescent depressive symptoms (assessed on four occasions from ∼13 to ∼18 years, n = 5,539). Heavy drinking was defined as ≥21 units per week in mothers and partners who drank 4+ units daily. Results: We found little evidence to support a dose response association between parental alcohol use and offspring outcomes. For example, we found insufficient evidence to support an association between maternal alcohol use at age 4 years and childhood conduct problems (childhood limited: OR = 1.00, 95% CI =.99, 1.01; adolescent onset: OR = 0.99, 95% CI =.98, 1.00; and early-onset persistent: OR = 0.99, 95% CI =.98, 1.00) per 1-unit change in maternal alcohol use compared to those with low levels of conduct problems. We also found insufficient evidence to support an association between maternal alcohol use at age 4 years and adolescent depressive symptoms (intercept: b =.001, 95% CI =-.01,.01, and slope: b =.003, 95% CI =-.03,.03) per 1-unit change in maternal alcohol use. Results remained consistent across amount of alcohol consumed (i.e., number of alcohol units or heavy alcohol use), parent (maternal self-reports or maternal reports of partner's alcohol use), and timing of alcohol use (assessed at age 4 or age 12 years).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0178862
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2017

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