Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 73–83 | Cite as

The Effects of Parent, Sibling and Peer Substance Use on Adolescent Drinking Behaviors

  • Ali M. YurasekEmail author
  • Leslie Brick
  • Bridget Nestor
  • Lynn Hernandez
  • Hannah Graves
  • Anthony Spirito
Original Paper


Understanding influences and predictors of adolescent alcohol use is necessary for treatment and prevention efforts. Although parent, sibling, and peer substance use have demonstrated associations with adolescent drinking, there is a need to examine the unique predictive role of each variable across time. The purpose of the current study was to longitudinally examine the varying influences of parent, sibling, and peer substance use on adolescent drinking. Participants were 102 at-risk adolescents referred to a randomized intervention trial. Hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted to assess the utility of parent alcohol use, sibling alcohol use, and peer substance use to predict drinking outcomes in the referred adolescent at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up assessments. Results indicated that sibling and peer substance use significantly predicted adolescent drinking frequency above and beyond parent alcohol use at all three time points and drinking quantity and frequency of intoxication at the 12-month follow-up. Peer substance use predicted high volume drinking episodes at all follow-ups and frequency of intoxication at the 3- and 6-month follow-up, whereas only sibling alcohol use predicted drinking quantity at the 3-month follow-up. Parent alcohol use was not a significant predictor of drinking outcomes at any time point. Both sibling and peer substance use were better predictors of adolescent drinking typology at different assessment time points compared to parent alcohol use. These findings highlight the importance of assessing and targeting sibling and peer substance use in intervention and prevention programs.


Substance use Adolescents Parent alcohol use Peer substance use Sibling alcohol use 



This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA017659).

Author Contributions

A.M.Y. designed and executed the study, assisted with the data analyses, and wrote the paper. L.B. conducted the revised statistical analyses and wrote the results for the second revision. B.N. conducted literature searches, provided summaries of previous research studies, and collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript. L.H. and H.G. collaborated with the design of the study, implemented the research plan, and assisted with editing the final manuscript. A.S. collaborated in the design of the study, wrote the original protocol, provided oversight on the implemented research plan, and collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript. All authors contributed to and have approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Brown University and associated hospital Institutional Review Board approved all study-related procedures. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. Andrews, J. A., Tildesley, E., Hops, H., & Li, F. (2002). The influence of peers on young adult substance use. Health Psychology, 21, 349–357.Google Scholar
  2. Arthur, M. W., Brown, E. C., Briney, J. S., Hawkins, J. D., Abbott, R. D., Catalano, R. F., & Mueller, M. T. (2015). Examination of substance use, risk factors, and protective factors on student academic test score performance. The Journal of School Health, 85(8), 497–507. Scholar
  3. Ary, D. V., Tildesley, E., Hops, H., & Andrews, J. (1993). The influence of parent, sibling, and peer modeling and attitudes on adolescent use of alcohol. The International Journal of the Addictions, 28, 853–880.Google Scholar
  4. Babor, T. F., Biddle-Higgins, J. C., Saunders, J. B. & Monteiro, M. G. (2001). AUDIT: The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for Use in Primary Health Care. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  5. Brechwald, W. A., & Prinstein, M. J. (2011). Beyond homophily: a decade of advances in understanding peer influence processes. Journal of Research on Adolescence: The Official Journal of the Society for Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 166–179.Google Scholar
  6. Burstein, M., Stanger, C., Kamon, J., & Dumenci, L. (2006). Parent psychopathology, parenting, and child internalizing problems in substance-abusing families. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 20, 97–106.Google Scholar
  7. Cardenal, C. A., & Adell, M. N. (2000). Factors associated with problematic alcohol consumption in schoolchildren. Journal of Adolescent Health, 27, 425–433.Google Scholar
  8. Chassin, L., Rogosch, F., & Barrera, M. (1991). Substance use and symptomatology among adolescent children of alcoholics. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(4), 449–463.Google Scholar
  9. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  10. Fagan, A. A., & Najman, J. M. (2005). The relative contributions of parental and sibling substance use to adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use. Journal of Drug Issues, 35, 869–884.Google Scholar
  11. Faul, F., Erdfelder, E., Buchner, A., & Lang, A. (2009). Statistical power analyses using G*Power 3.1: Tests for correlation and regression analyses. Behavior Research Methods, 41(4), 1149–1160.Google Scholar
  12. Hoffmann, J. P., & Bahr, S. J. (2014). Parenting style, religiosity, peer alcohol use, and adolescent heavy drinking. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 75, 222–227. Scholar
  13. Jessor, R., Donovan, J., & Costa, F. (1989). Health behavior questionnaire. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado.Google Scholar
  14. Johnson, P., & Johnson, H. (2001). Reaffirming the power of parental influence on adolescent smoking and drinking decisions. Adolescent and Family Health, 2(1), 37–43.Google Scholar
  15. Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., Schulenberg, J. E., & Miech, R. A. (2016). Monitoring the future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2015: Volume II, college students and adults ages 19–55. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan.
  16. Jones, S. C., & Magee, C. A. (2014). The role of family, friends, and peers in Australian adolescent’s alcohol consumption. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33, 304–313.Google Scholar
  17. Kelly, A. B., O’flaherty, M., Connor, J. P., Homel, R., Toumbourou, J. W., Patton, G. C., & Williams, J. (2011). The influence of parents, siblings and peers on pre and early teen smoking: a multilevel model. Drug and Alcohol Review, 30(4), 381–387.Google Scholar
  18. Kokkevi, A. E., Arapaki, A. A., Richardson, C., Florescu, S., Kuzman, M., & Stergar, E. (2007a). Further investigation of psychological and environmental correlates of substance use in adolescence in six European countries. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 88(2–3), 308–312. Scholar
  19. Kokkevi, A. E., Richardson, C., Florescu, S., Kuzman, M., & Stergar, E. (2007b). Psychosocial correlates of substance use in adolescence: a cross-national study in six European countries. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 86(1), 67–74. Scholar
  20. Kothari, B. H., Sorenson, P., Bank, L., & Snyder, J. (2014). Alcohol and substance use in adolescence and young adulthood: the role of siblings. Journal of Family Social Work, 17(4), 324–343. Scholar
  21. Kuntsche, E. N., & Kuendig, H. (2006). What is worse? A hierarchy of family-related risk factors predicting alcohol use in adolescence. Substance Use & Misuse, 41(1), 71–86.Google Scholar
  22. Latimer, W., Floyd, L. J., Kariis, T., Novotna, G., Exnerova, P., & O’Brien, M. (2004). Peer and sibling substance use: predictors of substance use among adolescents in Mexico. Pan American Journal of Public Health, 15, 225–232.Google Scholar
  23. Leung, R. K., Toumbourou, J. W., & Hemphill, S. A. (2011). The effect of peer influence and selection processes on adolescent AU: A systematic review of longitudinal studies. Health Psychology Review, 5, 1–32.Google Scholar
  24. Li, C., Pentz, M. A., & Chou, C. P. (2002). Parental substance use as a modifier of adolescent substance use risk. Addiction, 97, 1537–1550.Google Scholar
  25. Li, J. J., Cho, S. B., Salvatore, J. E., Edenberg, H. J., Agrawal, A., Chorlian, D. B., Porjesz, B., Hesselbrock, V., & Dick, D. M. (2017). The impact of peer substance use and polygenic risk on trajectories of heavy episodic drinking across adolescence and emerging adulthood. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 41(1), 65–75.Google Scholar
  26. Mason, W. A., & Spoth, R. L. (2012). Sequence of alcohol involvement from early onset to young adult alcohol abuse: differential predictors and moderation by family-focused preventive intervention. Addiction, 107(12), 2137–2148. Scholar
  27. Marshal, M. P., & Chassin, L. (2000). Peer influence on adolescent alcohol use: the moderating role of parental support and discipline. Applied Developmental Science, 4, 80–88.Google Scholar
  28. Marshal, M. P., & Molina, B. S. G. (2006). Antisocial behaviors moderate the deviant peer pathway to substance use in children with ADHD. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 35, 216–226.Google Scholar
  29. Marshal, M. P., Molina, B. S. G., & Pelham, W. E. (2003). Childhood ADHD and adolescent substance use: an examination of deviant peer group affiliation as a risk factor. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 17, 293–302.Google Scholar
  30. McMorris, B. J., Catalano, R. F., Kim, M. J., Toumbourou, J. W., & Hemphill, S. A. (2011). Influence of family factors and supervised alcohol use on adolescent alcohol use and harms: similarities between youth in different alcohol policy contexts. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 72(3), 418–428.Google Scholar
  31. Moss, H. B., Chen, C. M., & Yi, H. Y. (2014). Early adolescent patterns of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana polysubstance use and young adult substance use outcomes in a nationally representative sample. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 136, 51–62.Google Scholar
  32. Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, B. O. (1998–2017). Mplus user’s guide. Eighth Edition. Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  33. Needle, R., McCubbin, H., Wilson, M., Reineck, R., Lazar, A., & Mederer, H. (1986). Interpersonal influences in adolescent drug use-the role of older siblings, parents, and peers. Substance Use & Misuse, 21, 739–766.Google Scholar
  34. Patte, K. A., Qian, W., & Leatherdale, S. T. (2017). Marijuana and alcohol use as predictors of academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis among youth in the COMPASS study. Journal of School Health, 87(5), 310–318.Google Scholar
  35. Patrick, M. E., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2014). Prevalence and predictors of adolescent alcohol use and binge drinking in the United States. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 35(2), 193–200.Google Scholar
  36. Patrick, M. E., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2010). Alcohol use and heavy episodic drinking prevalence and predictors among national samples of American eighth-and tenth-grade students. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 71(1), 41–45.Google Scholar
  37. Poelen, E. A., Engels, R. C., Van Der Vorst, H., Scholte, R. H., & Vermulst, A. A. (2007). Best friends and alcohol consumption in adolescence: a within-family analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 88(2–3), 163–173. Scholar
  38. Reinert, D. F., & Allen, J. P. (2002). The alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT): a review of recent research. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 26(2), 272–279.Google Scholar
  39. Rothman, E. F., Stuart, G. L., Winter, M., Wang, N., Bowen, J., Bernstein, J., & Vinci, R. (2012). Youth and alcohol use and dating abuse victimization and perpetration. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27, 2959–2979.Google Scholar
  40. Rose, R. J., Dick, D. M., Viken, R. J., Pulkkinen, L., & Kaprio, J. (2001). Drinking or abstaining at age 14? A genetic epidemiological study. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 25, 1594–1604.Google Scholar
  41. Ryan, S. M., Jorm, A. F., & Lubman, D. I. (2010). Parenting factors associated with reduced adolescent alcohol use: a systematic review of longitudinal studies. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44(9), 774–783.Google Scholar
  42. Ryan, J., Roman, N. V., & Okwany, A. (2015). The effects of parental monitoring and communication on adolescent substance use and risky activity: a systematic review. TOFAMSJ, 7, 12–27.Google Scholar
  43. Samek, D. R., Rueter, M. A., Keyes, M. A., McGue, M., & Iacono, W. G. (2015). Parent involvement, sibling companionship, and adolescent substance use: a longitudinal, genetically informed design. Journal of Family Psychology, 29(4), 614–623.Google Scholar
  44. Saunders, J. B., Aasland, O. G., Babor, T. F., De La Fluente, J. R., & Grant, M. (1993). Development of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): WHO collaborative project on early detection of persons with harmful alcohol consumption-II. Addiction, 88, 791–804.Google Scholar
  45. Scholte, R. H. J., Poelen, E. A. P., Willemsen, G., Boomsma, D. I., & Engels, R. C. M. E. (2008). Relative risks of adolescent and young adult alcohol use: The role of drinking fathers, mothers, siblings, and friends. Addictive Behaviors, 33, 1–14.Google Scholar
  46. Sellers, C. M., O’Brien, K. H. M., Hernandez, L., & Spirito, A. (2018). Adolescent alcohol use: the effects of parental knowledge, peer substance use, and peer tolerance of use. Journal of the Society of Social Work an Research, 9, 69–87.Google Scholar
  47. Spirito, A., Hernandez, L., Marceau, K., Cancilliere, M. K., Barnett, N. P., Graves, H. R., Rodriquez, A. M., & Knopik, V. S. (2017). Effects of a brief, parent-focused intervention for substance using adolescents and their sibling. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 77, 156–165.Google Scholar
  48. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2012). Using multivariate statistics. 6th ed. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  49. Trim, R. S., Leuthe, E., & Chassin, L. (2006). Sibling influence on alcohol use in a young adult, high-risk sample. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 67(3), 391–398. Scholar
  50. van der Vorst, H., Engels, R. C. M. E., Meeus, W., Dekovic, M., & Van Leeuwe, J. (2007). Similarities and bi-directional influences regarding alcohol consumption in adolescent sibling pairs. Addictive Behaviors, 32, 1814–1825.Google Scholar
  51. White, H. R., Johnson, V., & Buyske, S. (2000). Parental modeling and parenting behavior effects on offspring alcohol and cigarette use: A growth curve analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse, 12, 287–310.Google Scholar
  52. Whiteman, S. D., Jensen, A. C., & Maggs, J. L. (2013). Similarities in adolescent siblings’ substance use: testing competing pathways of influence. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 74(1), 104–113. Scholar
  53. Whiteman, S. D., Jensen, A. C., Mustillo, S. A., & Maggs, J. L. (2016). Understanding sibling influence on adolescents’ alcohol use: social and cognitive pathways. Addictive Behaviors, 53, 1–6.Google Scholar
  54. Whiteman, S. D., Jensen, A. C., & McHale, S. M. (2017). Sibling influences on risky behaviors from adolescence to young adulthood: vertical socialization or bidirectional effects? In bN. Campione-Barr (Ed.), Power, control, and influence in sibling relationships across development. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 156, 67–85.Google Scholar
  55. Windle, M. (2000). Parental, sibling, and peer influences on adolescent substance use and alcohol problems. Applied Developmental Science, 4, 98–110.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Education and Behavior, College of Health and Human PerformanceUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Vanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations