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Health Psychol. 2015 Jul;34(7):697-708. doi: 10.1037/hea0000150. Epub 2014 Sep 15.

Racial differences in parenting style typologies and heavy episodic drinking trajectories.

Author information

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, Brigham Young University.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center.
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University Medical Center.



This study examines racial differences between Whites and Blacks in the association of parenting style typologies with changes in heavy episodic drinking from adolescence to young adulthood.


The analytic sample consists of 9,942 adolescents drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which followed respondents from ages 12 to 31 years. Confirmatory factor analysis and factor mixture modeling are used to classify parenting style typologies based on measures of parental acceptance and control. Heavy Episodic Drinking (HED) trajectories are evaluated using a zero-inflated Poisson multigroup latent growth curve modeling approach.


The mixture model identified 4 heterogeneous groups that differed based on the 2 latent variables (parental acceptance and control): balanced (65.8% of the sample), authoritarian (12.2%), permissive (19.4%), and uninvolved or neglectful (2.7%). Regardless of race, we found that at age 12 years, children of authoritarian parents have a higher probability of not engaging in HED than children of parents with balanced, permissive, or neglectful parenting styles. However, among Black youth who reported HED at age 12, authoritarian parenting was associated with greater level of HED at age 12 but a less steep increase in level of HED as age increased yearly as compared with balanced parenting. For White adolescents, uninvolved, permissive, and authoritarian parenting were not associated with a greater level of HED as age increased yearly as compared with adolescents exposed to balanced parenting.


The influence of parenting styles on HED during adolescence persists into young adulthood and differs by race for youth engaging in HED.

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