Article - pre-print
Parental communications about alcohol can have a significant impact on college students’ alcohol use; however, it is unclear what types of communication may be most beneficial for reducing alcohol risk, particularly among students who have already initiated alcohol use. The present research examines differences in alcohol use and employment of drinking protective behavioral strategies between pre-college matriculation high school seniors receiving predominantly abstinence parent messaging and students primarily receiving harm-reduction parent messaging. Students who identified as light drinkers were recruited during their last month in high school and completed an online assessment of alcohol use and parent alcohol communication. Analyses revealed that, in comparison to light drinkers who primarily received harm-reduction messaging from parents, light drinkers who received more abstinence messaging reported less frequent alcohol use, lower peak alcohol consumption, and greater use of protective drinking strategies aimed at changing the way they drank and avoiding serious hazards associated with drinking. Findings from this study underscore the utility of messages related to abstinence even for parents aware that their children have had previous experiences with alcohol and highlights the need for longitudinal research assessing additional mechanisms associated with message efficacy among light, moderate and heavy drinking students transitioning to college.
This is an author-manuscript of an article accepted for publication in Addictive Behaviors following peer review. The version of record: LaBrie, J. W., Boyle, S. C., & Napper, L. E. (2015). Alcohol Abstinence or Harm-Reduction? Parental Messages for College-Bound Light Drinkers. Addictive Behaviors, 46, 10–13 is available online at: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.02.019.
LaBrie, J. W., Boyle, S. C., & Napper, L. E. (2015). Alcohol Abstinence or Harm-Reduction? Parental Messages for College-Bound Light Drinkers. Addictive Behaviors, 46, 10–13. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.02.019