Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
The early onset of alcohol use is associated with a host of detrimental outcomes. As such, understanding the complex etiology of early onset for prevention purposes is an important goal. Conger and Conger’s (2002) Family Stress Model highlights specific environmental stressors within the family (i.e., financial stress, negative parental well-being, and a negative family climate), which heighten the risk of early onset alcohol use. However, the extent to which these factors are set in motion by prior maternal history of alcohol abuse and potentially account for intergenerational continuity in problem alcohol use have yet to be investigated. Using prospective, longitudinal data from 390 mother-child dyads, we examine the utility of the Family Stress Model to explain intergenerational continuity in problem alcohol use between mother and child. Results provide support for the application of the Family Stress Model to explain intergenerational continuity in problem alcohol use. The confluence of a maternal alcohol use disorder, financial strain, and depressive symptoms appears to produce a negative family climate, which, in turn, increases the likelihood of alcohol use by the age of fifteen among offspring. We discuss the implications of these findings with respect to the etiology of early onset of alcohol use and prevention programming.