Parental supply of alcohol in childhood and risky drinking in adolescence: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2017, 14 (3)
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© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Whether parental supply of alcohol affects the likelihood of later adolescent risky drinking remains unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize findings from longitudinal studies investigating this association. We searched eight electronic databases up to 10 September 2016 for relevant terms and included only original English language peer-reviewed journal articles with a prospective design. Two reviewers independently screened articles, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. Seven articles met inclusion criteria, six of which used analytic methods allowing for meta-analysis. In all seven studies, the follow-up period was ≥12 months and attrition ranged from 3% to 15%. Parental supply of alcohol was associated with subsequent risky drinking (odds ratio = 2.00, 95% confidence interval = 1.72, 2.32); however, there was substantial risk of confounding bias and publication bias. In all studies, measurement of exposure was problematic given the lack of distinction between parental supply of sips of alcohol versus whole drinks. In conclusion, parental supply of alcohol in childhood is associated with an increased likelihood of risky drinking later in adolescence. However, methodological limitations preclude a causal inference. More robust longitudinal studies are needed, with particular attention to distinguishing sips from whole drinks, measurement of likely confounders, and multivariable adjustment.
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