University of Oulu

Parra, G.R., Patwardhan, I., Mason, W.A. et al. Parental Alcohol Use and the Alcohol Misuse of their Offspring in a Finnish Birth Cohort: Investigation of Developmental Timing. J Youth Adolescence 49, 1702–1715 (2020).

Parental alcohol use and the alcohol misuse of their offspring in a Finnish birth cohort : investigation of developmental timing

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Author: Parra, Gilbert R.1; Patwardhan, Irina2; Mason, W. Alex3;
Organizations: 1Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 257 Louise Pound Hall, Lincoln, NE, 68588, USA
2Boys Town Translational Research Center for Child and Family Studies, 378 Bucher Drive, Boys Town, NE, 68010, USA
3University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, USA
4Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
5Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, MRC PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
8Unit of Primary Care, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-05-06


There is a positive association between parental alcohol use and the alcohol use of their offspring. It is less clear whether this relation exists at different developmental periods. The purpose of the current study was to examine the associations between parental alcohol use at two developmental periods (prenatal and adolescence) and the alcohol misuse of their offspring at two developmental periods (adolescence and young adulthood). Data from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (NFBC1986; n = 6963; 51% of offspring were girls) were used. The NFBC1986 is a population-based study of individuals born during a 1-year period in Finland. Multi-informant (parent, teacher, and youth) and multi-method (surveys and population registers) data were collected at four developmental periods (prenatal, childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood). The findings indicated that parents’ alcohol use was stable from the prenatal period to adolescence. Mothers’ and fathers’ (based on mothers’ perceptions) alcohol use during the prenatal period and adolescence were directly related to adolescents’ heavy drinking. Prenatal alcohol use by mothers and fathers were related to young adults’ alcohol use disorder indirectly (but not directly) through mothers’ and fathers’ alcohol use during adolescence and then through adolescents’ heavy drinking. The results suggest that early and ongoing screening for alcohol use by mothers and fathers could help identify individuals at risk for heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems during adolescence and young adulthood.

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Series: Journal of youth and adolescence
ISSN: 0047-2891
ISSN-E: 1573-6601
ISSN-L: 0047-2891
Volume: 49
Pages: 1702 - 1715
DOI: 10.1007/s10964-020-01239-5
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: The analyses were supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health, Grant # R01 DA038450. Support for the Northern Finland Birth Cohort was provided by the European Commission (Grant DynaHEALTH—H2020—633595), EU QLG1-CT-2000-01643 (EUROBLCS) Grant no. E51560, NorFA Grant no. 731, 20056, 30167, Academy of Finland (#268336), and USA/NIHH 2000 G DF682 Grant no. 50945.
EU Grant Number: (633595) DYNAHEALTH - Understanding the dynamic determinants of glucose homeostasis and social capability to promote Healthy and active aging
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 268336
Detailed Information: 268336 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in J Youth Adolescence. The final authenticated version is available online at