The influence of economic hardship on emerging adult binge drinking: Testing the family stress model over time

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Diggs, Olivia
Major Professor
Tricia K. Neppl
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Human Development and Family Studies

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies focuses on the interactions among individuals, families, and their resources and environments throughout their lifespans. It consists of three majors: Child, Adult, and Family Services (preparing students to work for agencies serving children, youth, adults, and families); Family Finance, Housing, and Policy (preparing students for work as financial counselors, insurance agents, loan-officers, lobbyists, policy experts, etc); and Early Childhood Education (preparing students to teach and work with young children and their families).


The Department of Human Development and Family Studies was formed in 1991 from the merger of the Department of Family Environment and the Department of Child Development.

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  • College of Human Sciences (parent college)
  • Department of Child Development (predecessor)
  • Department of Family Environment (predecessor)

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The current study examined pathways of the Family Stress Model (FSM) on adolescent binge drinking into emerging adulthood. This study included 359 focal youth and their parents who participated from early adolescence at age 13 to emerging adulthood at age 29. A prospective, longitudinal design was used to include parent report of economic hardship, economic pressure, emotional distress, and harsh couple interaction, as well as observer ratings of harsh parenting. Adolescent report of binge drinking in late adolescence and emerging adulthood were used. Results support pathways of the FSM where economic hardship led to economic pressure, which was associated with emotional distress. This emotional distress was further associated with conflict in the marital relationship, which, in turn was related to harsh parenting behaviors toward the adolescent. Harsh parenting was related to binge drinking in late adolescence, which was associated with subsequent binge drinking in emerging adulthood. This study extends research by examining late adolescent binge drinking into adulthood by way of economic pressure and family processes as hypothesized by the FSM. Results suggest that economic hardship has a lasting effect on family processes which influence later drinking behaviors. Thus, this study gives support to the notion that parents continue to have an impact on their youths’ decision to engage in binge drinking, even in the adulthood years.

Sun Jul 01 00:00:00 UTC 2018