Parental divorce and adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol use: assessing the importance of family conflict.

  • Kristjansson A
  • Sigfusdottir I
  • Allegrante J
 et al. 
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Abstract

AIM: To investigate how family conflict contributes to the relationship between parental divorce and adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol use.

DESIGN: Population-based cross-sectional survey.

SETTING: School classrooms in Iceland in which an anonymous questionnaire was administered to respondents by supervising teachers. Participants were 7430 (81.4%) of 9124 14- to 16-year-old adolescents.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Cigarette smoking and alcohol use during the last 30 days were assessed by self-report.

RESULTS: Parental divorce was related to adolescent cigarette smoking during the last 30 days (OR = 2.12, 95% CI 1.84-2.44) when controlling for gender only, but was insignificant (OR = 1.18 95%, CI 0.99-1.44) when controlling for relationship with parents, disruptive social changes and family conflict. There was a significant relationship between parental divorce and adolescent alcohol use during last 30 days (OR = 1.66, 95% CI 1.48-1.87), controlling only for gender; however, the relationship disappeared (OR = 1.04, 95% CI 0.91-1.20) when controlling for other variables.

CONCLUSION: Family conflicts are important contributors to the relationship between parental divorce and adolescent cigarette smoking and alcohol use. Conflict between parents and adolescents, but not inter-parental conflict, appears to be the most important factor in the relationship between family conflict and adolescent substance use.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Alcohol Drinking: epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Divorce
  • Divorce: statistics & numerical data
  • Family Conflict
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iceland
  • Iceland: epidemiology
  • Male
  • Smoking
  • Smoking: epidemiology

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Authors

  • Alfgeir Logi Kristjansson

  • Inga Dora Sigfusdottir

  • John P Allegrante

  • Asgeir R Helgason

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