Divorced parents and adolescents’ alcohol use: Parental divorce as a predictor of alcohol use among Dutch adolescents, with adolescents’ self-control and educational level as protective factors
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Various studies have found evidence that a parental divorce has an influence on the alcohol use of a child. Children of divorced parents are younger when they start drinking alcohol, they drink more and they drink more often. However, little is known about this relation in the Netherlands and there could be other factors that influence this relation. Therefore, the current study examines to what extent a parental divorce predicts alcohol use among Dutch adolescents and if adolescents’ higher levels of self-control and education can act as protective factors. The data consist of 884 Dutch high school students. Results show a significant relation between parental divorce and age of alcohol initiation, but when controlling for gender and age only. A high educational level significantly moderates this relation. However, contrary to expectations, the combination of experiencing a parental divorce and following a high educational level indicates that participants are significantly younger at their age of alcohol initiation. There are no significant effects for the other dependent variables: frequency and quantity. It can be concluded that experiencing a parental divorce is not really a predictor of adolescents’ alcohol use, and high levels of self-control and educational level do not have a protective effect either.