Drinking by parents, siblings, and friends as predictors of regular alcohol use in adolescents and young adults: a longitudinal twin-family study.Alcohol Alcohol. 2007 Jul-Aug; 42(4):362-9.AA
The aim of this study was to examine whether the drinking habits of parents, siblings, and friends were related to regular drinking in adolescents and young adults, cross-sectionally as well as longitudinally.
Data of 12-30-year-old twins from the Netherlands Twin Register were analysed. Information on regular drinking was collected in 1993, 1995, and 2000. Logistic regression analyses were conducted on cross-sectional data of 1993 (N=3760), short-term longitudinal data of 1993-95 (N=2919), and the long-term longitudinal data of 1993-2000 (N=1779).
Results show that age, sex, and one's own previous drinking habits were important predictors of later-life regular drinking. Drinking habits of parents showed small but persistent positive associations. Alcohol use of the co-twin was strongly related to alcohol use of the participants, especially in the cross-sectional analyses, while alcohol use of additional siblings other than the co-twin was relatively unimportant. Cross-sectionally, friends' alcohol use showed a high association with regular drinking, but this association decreased over time.
Cross-sectional analyses showed that a substantial part (29%) of the variance in regular drinking habits of adolescents and young adults was explained by the drinking habits of family members and friends, in particular, by drinking of co-twins and friends. But, over time, drinking by family members and friends could only explain a relatively small part (4-5%) of the variance in adolescents' and young adults' alcohol use.