An Ecological Understanding of Alcohol-Specific Parenting Practices in Humboldt Park
thesisposted on 27.10.2017, 00:00 by Amber N Kraft
Although alcohol use by teens and young adults under the age of 21 continues to decline in the US, it is associated with numerous health and safety risks both in adolescence and adulthood. Substantial evidence demonstrates parental influence on underage drinking behaviors through both general and alcohol-specific parenting (ASP) strategies. However, ASP strategies are rarely investigated with respect to their ecological context, and even less often in specific ethnic or geographic communities. Using focus groups and grounded theory methods, this study explores how a critical ecological understanding of ASP strategies, as interpreted by youth, challenges the current body of theoretically decontextualized underage drinking and ASP research and prevention efforts, by answering the following questions: 1) How do Latino youth describe and experience ASP strategies used in Humboldt Park? 2) How does the ecological context inform Latino youths’ appraisals of ASP strategies? Findings indicate that Latino youth perceive parental strategies that prioritize harm-reduction rather than prohibiting teen drinking itself. These strategies represent an adaptation to the local environment, including both local and cultural norms, perceived risks, and family and migration history. Youth report a potential misalignment between the historical context ASP strategies are designed for and the current setting in which they are applied. These discrepancies may compromise the effectiveness of ASP strategies in the target population. Implications for ASP research and corresponding interventions will be discussed.