Parental alcohol drinking is associated with an increased risk of alcohol consumption in adolescents and social drinking is often the first step to regular alcohol consumption. The purpose of the study was to investigate the association between social drinking in adolescence and parental alcohol consumption. We conducted a survey, using a self-completed questionnaire about alcohol drinking habits. Of 903 students (aged 15-19), 279 (30.9%) were found to be abstainers (NDA) and 455 (50.39%) were social drinkers (SDA). These two groups were statistically compared for drinking patterns of their parents. It was found that SDA are fourfold less likely than NDA to have two alcohol abstaining parents (OR=0.26, 95%CI =0.19-0.37) and fourfold more likely to have two alcohol drinking parents (OR=3.89, 95%CI =2.77-5.45). There were no significant differences between SDA and NDA regarding probability to have one abstaining and one socially drinking parent, and SDA were less likely to have one abstaining and one regularly drinking parent (OR=0.54, 0.37-0.8). The social learning theory explains well adolescent drinking patterns when there is no contradiction in parental modeling. It seems, however, that the presence of contradicting patterns of parental alcohol drinking needs another explanation. Since contradicting parental modeling prevents adolescents from social drinking, it could be considered in health prevention intervention.
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