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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2010 Jan;71(1):95-104.

Direct and mediational links between parental bonds and neglect, antisocial personality, reasons for drinking, alcohol use, and alcohol problems.

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Department of Psychological Science, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Formerly University of Missouri-Rolla), Rolla, Missouri, USA.



The self-medication model suggests that some individuals may use alcohol as a means to cope with their negative experiences. Antisocial personality reflects a lack of concern for others and is often linked to alcohol use disorders. The aim of this investigation was to examine potential parental influences to both pathological reasons for drinking and antisocial personality as pathways to alcohol use and problems.


Direct and indirect links between parental bond (care, rejection, overprotection, autonomy, and neglect) and antisocial personality, pathological reasons for drinking, alcohol use, and alcoholrelated problems were investigated. A two-group SEM path model with college students (164 female, 240 male) was examined.


In general, the overall patterns among male and female respondents were distinct. Among women, perceptions of having a caring mother lowered the likelihood of having antisocial tendencies, and perceptions of being rejected by one's father were directly linked to pathological reasons for drinking. Feeling neglected by one's mother was also directly linked to alcohol-related problems among women. Conversely, feeling neglected by one's father was directly linked to alcohol-related problems among males, suggesting a parent-offspring gender match. For men, antisocial personality mediated the impact of mother rejection and father overprotection on alcohol use.


These findings suggest that parental influences regarding vulnerabilities for alcohol use are very complex and that the genders of the respondent and the parent must be considered jointly.

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