Familial transmission of alcohol use: II. Imitation of and aversion to parent drinking (1960) by adult offspring (1977) - Tecumseh, Michigan

E. Harburg, W. DiFranceisco, D. W. Webster, L. Gleiberman, A. Schork

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The 'fall-off' effect, when offspring respond to parental high-volume levels by moderating their own drinking, appears highly predictable across generations and is mediated both by subsequent parent drinking level and offspring's perception of problematic intake by their parents. This fall off by adult offspring appears to follow community norms; it occurs, on the average, at the level of daily drinking by fathers, and when the mother approaches daily-drinking levels. An aversion effect holds more to cross-sex parents with problems; thus, both sons and daughters show a nonimitation and fall off to their cross-sex parents who are high-volume problem drinkers. Conversely, however, daughters often imitate a high-drinking father with no problems. For high-drinking mothers, without problems or with problems (numbers are small), daughters' drinking appears 'polarized': most (60%) are abstemious, but a higher number than expected (about 35%) show high volume thus imitating the mother's volume, compared to about 17% of the total sample of daughters who were high-volume drinkers. Maximal offspring imitation is strongest for abstemious parents, especially for abstaining parents, and stronger for fathers abstaining than for mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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