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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2013 Dec 1;133(2):587-92. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.07.028. Epub 2013 Aug 8.

Socialization to binge drinking: a population-based, longitudinal study with emphasis on parental influences.

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Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1096, Blindern 0317, Oslo, Norway. Electronic address:



Binge drinking is associated with considerable harm. However, too little is known about socialization to this pattern of alcohol consumption.


To identify longitudinal predictors of young adult binge drinking, with an emphasis on possible parental influences.


A population-based prospective study, in which respondents (N=2558) were surveyed from mid-adolescence until their late 20s. The data set was linked to national registers. Data were collected on parental alcohol consumption, parental binge drinking and parental alcohol problems, as well as on other aspects of the family milieu. The respondents' frequency of alcohol consumption was assessed, as well as a number of binge drinking measures: (i) frequency of intoxication episodes, (ii) frequency of consuming 5+ units, and (iii) "usual" consumption patterns of 5-6+ units, 7-9+ units, and 10+ units.


A surprisingly high proportion of the sample met the criteria for binge drinking. After control for parental, peer and individual characteristics, parental binge drinking predicted respondents' binge drinking, using all definitions, at age 28 years (p<.001). Parental frequency of alcohol consumption predicted frequency of alcohol consumption in their offspring at age 28 (p<.001).


The findings suggest a socialization pattern of alcohol role modeling from parents to offspring. The findings are also consistent with genetic research showing alcohol use to have moderate heritability. We may witness new binge drinking cultures in Norway, but binge drinking patterns also seem to echo parental influences.


Alcohol; Binge drinking; Longitudinal; Parental influences

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