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Addict Behav. 2013 Dec;38(12):2841-6. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.08.013. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Alcohol use and abuse in young adulthood: do self-control and parents' perceptions of friends during adolescence modify peer influence? The TRAILS study.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands. Electronic address:



To assess the influence of peer alcohol use during adolescence on young adults' alcohol use and abuse, and to assess to what extent parents' perception of their adolescent child's friends and adolescent's self-control modify this influence.


We analyzed data from the first, third, and fourth wave of a population-based prospective cohort study of 2230 adolescents conducted between 2001 and 2010 (mean ages: 11.1, 16.3, and 19.1, respectively). Alcohol use and abuse were measured at T4 by self-report questionnaires and by the Composite International Diagnostics Interview (CIDI), respectively. Peer alcohol use, self-control, and parents' perception of their adolescent child's friends were measured at T3. We adjusted for gender, age, socioeconomic-status, parental alcohol use, and adolescent baseline alcohol use.


Peer alcohol use during adolescence was related to young adults' alcohol use and abuse [odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 1.31 (1.11-1.54) and 1.50 (1.20-1.87), respectively]. Neither parents' perception of their adolescent child's friends nor self-control modified this relationship. Alcohol abusers were more likely to have low self-control than alcohol users. No differences were found between alcohol users and abusers regarding their parents' perception of their friends and peer alcohol use.


Peer alcohol use during adolescence affects young adults' alcohol use and abuse. We found that self-control was only related to alcohol abuse. Peer influence was not modified by parents' perception of peers or by self-control. Peer alcohol use and self-control should thus be separate targets in the prevention of alcohol use/abuse.

© 2013.


Adolescence; Alcohol use; Parents; Peer; Self-control; Young adulthood

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