The Influence of Economic Pressure on Emerging Adult Binge Drinking: Testing the Family Stress Model over Time

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Diggs, Olivia N
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© 2023 Springer Nature Switzerland AG. Part of Springer Nature.
Neppl, Tricia K
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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 Family Stress Model proposes that disrupted family processes may help explain the association between economic adversity and poor child developmental outcomes. In this study, the Family Stress Model was tested across adolescence to emerging adulthood. Participants included 451 rural White youth who participated with their parents from age 13–23 (52% female). The data were analyzed at five developmental time periods with separate pathways for mothers and fathers. The findings reveal for both parents that economic pressure at time 1 (age 13) led to parental emotional distress which was related to harsh couple interaction at time 2 (ages 14 and 15). This marital conflict was related to harsh parenting toward the adolescent (time 2), which was then directly associated with higher levels of offspring drinking when youth were in middle adolescence (age 16) at time 3. Alcohol use in middle adolescence was associated with binge drinking in late adolescence (age 18, time 4) into emerging adulthood (age 23, time 5). Drinking behaviors did not differ for boys and girls. The current results show that economic adversity has an effect on family processes which influence offspring binge drinking patterns in later adolescence that continue into emerging adulthood.
This accepted article is published as Diggs, O.N., Neppl, T.K. The Influence of Economic Pressure on Emerging Adult Binge Drinking: Testing the Family Stress Model over Time. J Youth Adolescence 47, 2481–2495 (2018). Posted with permission.