Logo of jepicomhJournal of Epidemiology and Community HealthVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2003 Sep; 57(9): 704–710.
PMCID: PMC1732575

Occupational level of the father and alcohol consumption during adolescence; patterns and predictors


Study objective: This paper describes and attempts to explain the association between occupational level of the father and high alcohol consumption among a cohort of New Zealand adolescents from age 11 to 21.

Design: Data were obtained from the longitudinal Dunedin multidisciplinary health and development study. At each measurement wave, those who then belonged to the quartile that reported the highest usual amount of alcohol consumed on a typical drinking occasion were categorised as high alcohol consumers. Potential predictors of high alcohol consumption included environmental factors, individual factors, and educational achievement measured at age 9, 11, or 13. Longitudinal logistic GEE analyses described and explained the relation between father's occupation and adolescent alcohol consumption.

Setting: Dunedin, New Zealand.

Participants: About 1000 children were followed up from birth in 1972 until adulthood.

Main results: A significant association between fathers' occupation and adolescent alcohol consumption emerged at age 15. Overall adolescents from the lowest occupational group had almost twice the odds of being a large consumer than the highest occupational group. The association between father's occupation and high alcohol consumption during adolescence was explained by the higher prevalence of familial alcohol problems and friends approving of alcohol consumption, lower intelligence scores, and lower parental attachment among adolescents from lower occupational groups.

Conclusions: Socioeconomic background affects adolescent alcohol consumption substantially. This probably contributes to cumulation of disadvantage. Prevention programmes should focus on adolescents from lower socioeconomic groups and make healthier choices the easier choices by means of environmental change.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (162K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Crum RM, Helzer JE, Anthony JC. Level of education and alcohol abuse and dependence in adulthood: a further inquiry. Am J Public Health. 1993 Jun;83(6):830–837. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Droomers M, Schrijvers CT, Stronks K, van de Mheen D, Mackenbach JP. Educational differences in excessive alcohol consumption: the role of psychosocial and material stressors. Prev Med. 1999 Jul;29(1):1–10. [PubMed]
  • Russell M, Cooper ML, Frone MR. The influence of sociodemographic characteristics on familial alcohol problems: data from a community sample. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1990 Apr;14(2):221–226. [PubMed]
  • Schrijvers CT, Stronks K, van de Mheen HD, Mackenbach JP. Explaining educational differences in mortality: the role of behavioral and material factors. Am J Public Health. 1999 Apr;89(4):535–540. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ellis DA, Zucker RA, Fitzgerald HE. The role of family influences in development and risk. Alcohol Health Res World. 1997;21(3):218–226. [PubMed]
  • Lowry R, Kann L, Collins JL, Kolbe LJ. The effect of socioeconomic status on chronic disease risk behaviors among US adolescents. JAMA. 1996 Sep 11;276(10):792–797. [PubMed]
  • Parker DA, Parker ES. Status and status inconsistency of parents on alcohol consumption of teenage children. Int J Addict. 1980 Nov;15(8):1233–1239. [PubMed]
  • Donovan JE, Jessor R. Adolescent problem drinking. Psychosocial correlates in a national sample study. J Stud Alcohol. 1978 Sep;39(9):1506–1524. [PubMed]
  • Duncan TE, Duncan SC, Hops H. The effects of family cohesiveness and peer encouragement on the development of adolescent alcohol use: a cohort-sequential approach to the analysis of longitudinal data. J Stud Alcohol. 1994 Sep;55(5):588–599. [PubMed]
  • Green G, Macintyre S, West P, Ecob R. Like parent like child? Associations between drinking and smoking behaviour of parents and their children. Br J Addict. 1991 Jun;86(6):745–758. [PubMed]
  • Tuinstra J, Groothoff JW, van den Heuvel WJ, Post D. Socio-economic differences in health risk behavior in adolescence: do they exist? Soc Sci Med. 1998 Jul;47(1):67–74. [PubMed]
  • Wills TA, McNamara G, Vaccaro D. Parental education related to adolescent stress-coping and substance use: development of a mediational model. Health Psychol. 1995 Sep;14(5):464–478. [PubMed]
  • Casswell Sally, Pledger Megan, Pratap Sarah. Trajectories of drinking from 18 to 26 years: identification and prediction. Addiction. 2002 Nov;97(11):1427–1437. [PubMed]
  • Ary DV, Tildesley E, Hops H, Andrews J. The influence of parent, sibling, and peer modeling and attitudes on adolescent use of alcohol. Int J Addict. 1993 Jul;28(9):853–880. [PubMed]
  • Hawkins JD, Catalano RF, Miller JY. Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychol Bull. 1992 Jul;112(1):64–105. [PubMed]
  • Jackson C. Initial and experimental stages of tobacco and alcohol use during late childhood: relation to peer, parent, and personal risk factors. Addict Behav. 1997 Sep-Oct;22(5):685–698. [PubMed]
  • Jackson C, Henriksen L, Dickinson D, Levine DW. The early use of alcohol and tobacco: its relation to children's competence and parents' behavior. Am J Public Health. 1997 Mar;87(3):359–364. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Jackson C, Henriksen L, Dickinson D. Alcohol-specific socialization, parenting behaviors and alcohol use by children. J Stud Alcohol. 1999 May;60(3):362–367. [PubMed]
  • Johnson V, Pandina RJ. Effects of the family environment on adolescent substance use, delinquency, and coping styles. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1991;17(1):71–88. [PubMed]
  • White HR, Johnson V, Buyske S. Parental modeling and parenting behavior effects on offspring alcohol and cigarette use. A growth curve analysis. J Subst Abuse. 2000;12(3):287–310. [PubMed]
  • Webster RA, Hunter M, Keats JA. Personality and sociodemographic influences on adolescents' substance use: a path analysis. Int J Addict. 1994 May;29(7):941–956. [PubMed]
  • Wilks J, Callan VJ, Austin DA. Parent, peer and personal determinants of adolescent drinking. Br J Addict. 1989 Jun;84(6):619–630. [PubMed]
  • Wills TA, Schreibman D, Benson G, Vaccaro D. Impact of parental substance use on adolescents: a test of a mediational model. J Pediatr Psychol. 1994 Oct;19(5):537–555. [PubMed]
  • Jacob T, Johnson S. Parenting influences on the development of alcohol abuse and dependence. Alcohol Health Res World. 1997;21(3):204–209. [PubMed]
  • Foxcroft DR, Lowe G. Adolescent drinking behaviour and family socialization factors: a meta-analysis. J Adolesc. 1991 Sep;14(3):255–273. [PubMed]
  • Bahr SJ, Marcos AC, Maughan SL. Family, educational and peer influences on the alcohol use of female and male adolescents. J Stud Alcohol. 1995 Jul;56(4):457–469. [PubMed]
  • Rose CD. Peer cluster theory and adolescent alcohol use: an explanation of alcohol use and a comparative analysis between two causal models. J Drug Educ. 1999;29(3):205–215. [PubMed]
  • Jessor R. Risk behavior in adolescence: a psychosocial framework for understanding and action. J Adolesc Health. 1991 Dec;12(8):597–605. [PubMed]
  • Epstein JA, Botvin GJ, Baker E, Diaz T. Impact of social influences and problem behavior on alcohol use among inner-city Hispanic and black adolescents. J Stud Alcohol. 1999 Sep;60(5):595–604. [PubMed]
  • Jessor R, Chase JA, Donovan JE. Psychosocial correlates of marijuana use and problem drinking in a national sample of adolescents. Am J Public Health. 1980 Jun;70(6):604–613. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wills TA, Vaccaro D, McNamara G. Novelty seeking, risk taking, and related constructs as predictors of adolescent substance use: an application of Cloninger's theory. J Subst Abuse. 1994;6(1):1–20. [PubMed]
  • Stanton WR, Nada Raja S, Langley J. Stability in the structure of health locus of control among adolescents. Br J Clin Psychol. 1995 May;34(Pt 2):279–287. [PubMed]
  • Wallston KA, Wallston BS, DeVellis R. Development of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) Scales. Health Educ Monogr. 1978 Spring;6(2):160–170. [PubMed]
  • Connolly GM, Casswell S, Stewart J, Silva PA. Drinking context and other influences on the drinking of 15-year-old New Zealanders. Br J Addict. 1992 Jul;87(7):1029–1036. [PubMed]
  • Fitzgerald JL, Mulford HA. Alcohol consumption in Iowa 1961 and 1979. A comparison of sales and survey estimates. J Stud Alcohol. 1982 Nov;43(11):1171–1189. [PubMed]
  • Campbell FA, Ramey CT. Effects of early intervention on intellectual and academic achievement: a follow-up study of children from low-income families. Child Dev. 1994 Apr;65(2 Spec No):684–698. [PubMed]
  • Scarr S, McCartney K. How people make their own environments: a theory of genotype greater than environment effects. Child Dev. 1983 Apr;54(2):424–435. [PubMed]
  • Martin SL, Ramey CT, Ramey S. The prevention of intellectual impairment in children of impoverished families: findings of a randomized trial of educational day care. Am J Public Health. 1990 Jul;80(7):844–847. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Barnett WS. Long-term cognitive and academic effects of early childhood education on children in poverty. Prev Med. 1998 Mar-Apr;27(2):204–207. [PubMed]
  • Zoritch B, Roberts I, Oakley A. The health and welfare effects of day-care: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Soc Sci Med. 1998 Aug;47(3):317–327. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Save items

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Compound
    PubChem Compound links
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...