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Family, school, peer and individual influences on early adolescent alcohol use: first-year impact of the Resilient Families programme

journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2007, 00:00 authored by A Shortt, Delyse HutchinsonDelyse Hutchinson, R Chapman, John ToumbourouJohn Toumbourou
Introduction and Aims:  This study aimed to examine: (a) the influence of family factors relative to school, peer and individual influences on the development of adolescent alcohol use during the first year of secondary school; and (b) the feasibility of preventing adolescent alcohol use by modifying family factors. Design and Methods:  Twenty-four schools in Melbourne, Australia were randomly assigned to either the 'Resilient Families' intervention or a control condition. A baseline cohort of 2315 grade 7 students (mean age 12.3 years) were followed-up one year later (n = 2128 for longitudinal analyses). A sub-set of parents (n = 1166) also returned baseline surveys. Results: The prevalence of lifetime alcohol use in year 7 was 33% and rose to 47% by year 8. Student-reported predictors of year 8 alcohol use included baseline alcohol [Odds Ratio (OR) 3.64] and tobacco use (2.68), and school friend's alcohol (1.41) and tobacco use (1.64). After adjusting for other influences, student-reported family factors were not maintained as significant predictors of year 8 alcohol use. Parent-report predictors of student-reported alcohol use included allowing alcohol use in the home (2.55), parental alcohol use (1.88) and child hyperactivity (1.85). Protective factors included attendance at brief parent education (0.60) and parent involvement in school education (0.65). Discussion and Conclusions: The intervention appeared to benefit education-related outcomes, but no overall effect in reducing student alcohol use was found in year 8. Intervention effects on alcohol misuse may become significant in later secondary school once the entire program has been implemented. Considerable alcohol use was detected in early secondary school,   suggesting that interventions to reduce alcohol use may be usefully implemented prior to this period.



Drug and alcohol review






625 - 634


Carfax Pub. Co.


Abingdon, England







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs