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 journalArticlepeer-review

18 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
Article number104238
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume98
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from NIDA DA030884 (Shin) and the AMBRF/The Foundation for Alcohol Research (Shin).The Foundation had no role in the study design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

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

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