Childhood maltreatment and alcohol-related problems in young adulthood: The protective role of parental warmth

Sunny H. Shin, Xiafei Wang, Susan H. Yoon, Jamie L. Cage, Julia M. Kobulsky, Benjamin N. Montemayor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Alcohol use among young adults is highly prevalent. Individuals exposed to childhood maltreatment are particularly vulnerable to alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. Few studies have examined family protective factors, such as parental warmth, that may mitigate the effects of childhood maltreatment on alcohol-related problems. Objective: The current study seeks to examine the extent to which parental warmth reduces the effect of childhood exposure to maltreatment on alcohol-related problems in young adulthood. Participants and setting: Participants were young adults (N = 337; mean age = 21.7), who were recruited from an urban community and completed in-person interviews assessing childhood maltreatment, parental warmth, and alcohol-related problems. Methods: Multiple hierarchical linear regression models were used to examine whether maternal and paternal warmth reduced the impact of childhood exposure to maltreatment on alcohol-related problems in young adulthood. Common risk factors for alcohol-related problems, including psychological symptoms and peer and parental alcohol use, were also entered into the models. Results: We found a significant moderating effect of paternal warmth on the associations between childhood emotional abuse and alcohol-related problems (β= -0.29, p < .05). Specifically, the association between emotional abuse and alcohol-related problems was weaker among individuals with higher levels of paternal warmth. Moderating effects of maternal warmth on the maltreatment-problematic alcohol use relation were not supported. Conclusion: The results of this research suggest that parental warmth may not only relate to fewer alcohol-related problems among offspring, but may also modify the associations between childhood emotional abuse and alcohol-related problems during young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104238
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume98
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • Child abuse
  • Child maltreatment
  • Father involvement
  • Parent-child relationship
  • Parental warmth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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