Method: College students who received a drinking or marijuana violation completed an online survey roughly four weeks after receiving the violation (N = 389; Mage = 18.5; 52% female). Students reported: if they had a conversation with a parent about the violation; if they have a clear understanding of their parents’ expectations regarding drinking, and marijuana use; their parents’ level of involvement and autonomy support; and their recent alcohol and marijuana use.
Results: Student responses to the expectations, parental involvement, and autonomy support measures were dichotomized and latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted. Fit indices suggested a 3-class solution: 1) clear expectations and involved/supported parents (57%); 2) clear expectations and uninvolved/unsupported parents (26%); 3) unclear expectations and uninvolved/unsupported parents. We then used the weighted 3-step BCH approach to test the effect of latent class membership and the interaction between latent class membership and conversation about the violation on alcohol and marijuana use. Weighted regression results revealed significant class by conversation interactions for frequency of drinking and heavy episodic drinking (HED). Subsequent analyses revealed that while conversations about the violation were positive for students in the clear expectations and involved/supported parents class, students in the clear expectations and uninvolved/unsupported parents class drank more frequently with more HED when they had a conversation with a parent about their violation.
Conclusion: Our results indicate the potential importance parent-student relationships play in PBIs. This carries important prevention implications as PBIs to reduce drinking and marijuana use that ignore the parent-student relationship may have unintended, negative consequences.