The current study examined whether permitting young women to drink alcohol at home during senior year of high school reduces the risk of heavy drinking in college. Participants were 449 college-bound female high school seniors, recruited at the end of their senior year. Participants were classified into one of three permissibility categories according to their baseline reports of whether their parents allowed them to drink at home: (a) not permitted to drink at all; (b) allowed to drink with family meals; (c) allowed to drink at home with friends. Repeated measures analysis of variance was used to compare the drinking behaviors of the three groups at the time of high school graduation and again after the first semester of college. Students who were allowed to drink at home during high school whether at meals or with friends, reported more frequent heavy episodic drinking (HED) in the first semester of college than those who reported not being allowed to drink at all. Those who were permitted to drink at home with friends reported the heaviest drinking at both time points. Path analysis revealed that the relationship between alcohol permissiveness and college HED was mediated via perceptions of parental alcohol approval. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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