The Relationship Between Early Exposure to Alcohol in Children and Binge Drinking in Later Years






Abstract:   This study sought to determine if differences were observable between participants identified as functional users of alcohol and those identified as dysfunctional users.  The age of first experience with alcohol, self-esteem and an awareness of alcohol abuse were of primary importance in this study.  An additional examination was done regarding gender differences in alcohol use and dysfunction.  Finally the role of the family unit and their use of alcohol while the study participants were in an adolescent phase of development were examined to determine if a relationship exists with their current reported level of alcohol use.

Brief Summary of Results:  Significant results and those results which were showing a trend toward significance were observed for the following items:

  • A trend towards a significant result was seen with the variable binge drinking in participants under the age of 21 during the last month, t(24)=-1.711, p=.00.  This indicates that participants who had not engaged in binge drinking during the previous month had slightly more knowledge about alcohol than participants who had binge drank in the previous month.

  • In participants over the age of 21 the following trends towards significance were seen in their knowledge of alcohol and lifetime binge drinking, t(59)=1.867, p=.067, binge drinking during the last year, t(59)=1.435, p=.157, and binge drinking during the month, t(59)=1.383, p=.172.

  • The second hypothesis predicted that individuals demonstrating a dysfunctional use of alcohol would accurately report their abuse.  In the data analysis for participants <21, the results approached significance, t(19)=1.735, p=.099.  In those participants >21, the results also approached significance, t(52)=-1.641, p=.107.

  • Significance results were also found regarding the use of illegal drugs by participants.  Those participants reporting illegal drug activity prior to their first use of alcohol reported mean AUDIT scores of 10.10 while those denying drug use prior to their first alcohol use reported mean AUDIT scores of 5.31, t(56)=2.269, p=.027.  Quiz scores also reported a significant difference between the two groups, t(24)=-3.377, p=.002.

  • Significant results were also obtained for participants >21 who reported alcohol being routinely present in their homes and their current AUDIT scores, t(74)=2.449, p=.017.

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Last updated: 06/13/06.