Exploring parental influence on the progression of alcohol use in Mexican-heritage youth: a latent transition analysis
Mexican-heritage youth are members of the fastest growing minority group and are at particular risk for substance use including alcohol consumption. Youth face numerous risk factors including positive descriptions of substance use on media and peer offers that are potentially ameliorated by parental anti-substance use socialization efforts. Guided by primary socialization theory and the theory of planned behavior, the present study posited eight research questions to identify discrete subgroups/patterns of Mexican-heritage youth alcohol use behavior and parental influence on youth outcomes. Longitudinal survey data (n = 1147) from youth in 29 public schools located in Phoenix, Arizona, were collected over 3 years. Latent class and transition analyses identified four discrete subgroups characterized by response patterns of alcohol use behaviors and perceptions in Mexican-heritage youth: (1) non-drinker, (2) potential drinker, (3) experimenter, and (4) regular drinker. Targeted parent-child communication about alcohol and parental monitoring were found to be significant predictors for youth alcohol use. Research implications and future directions are suggested.