The proposed longitudinal study seeks to understand the intergenerational transmission of risk for alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use (ATOD) in a predominantly African-American sample, the first generation of which we have been following since 1994. Generation 1 (G1) in the proposed study includes parents of over 700 children aged 5-15 years old. Our sample is unique in that the few studies on intergenerational transmission do not include a large sample of urban African-Americans with middle to low income backgrounds. We will apply a socioecological developmental framework to study how familial and neighborhood environments, as well as the individual behaviors, attitudes, and experiences of a cohort of parents in middle adulthood (ages 33-37;G1), influence parenting style, attitudes, and behaviors over time, and how these factors may influence the attitudes and behaviors of their children (G2). We currently have 12 years of data (from age 14 through 32) for the G1 sample. Thus, we can examine how trajectories of development (e.g., ATOD) in G1 may influence G2 outcomes (e.g., executive function) longitudinally. We will examine both direct effects of G1 trajectories, and how these trajectories may affect parenting behaviors, which in turn influence G2 outcomes (mediation). Researchers have demonstrated a strong link between internalizing and externalizing behaviors in early and middle childhood, and ATOD in adolescence and early adulthood. Understanding how parenting and broader social context factors (e.g., family conflict;neighborhood factors) relate to child outcomes across this period i therefore critical. Researchers have focused extensively on understanding the risk factors for adolescent ATOD use, while less attention has been given to those factors which might prevent or mitigate the transmission of ATOD use from parent to child. We will therefore examine the parent-to-child transmission of coping and prosaically behaviors that may mitigate the risk for ATOD use. Each family will be assessed annually for 4 years so that we can model trajectories of growth across key developmental periods. At each annual visit, one interviewer will meet privately with the G2 child, while another interviewer will meet privately with the G1 parent to complete questionnaires. We will employ hierarchical linear modeling and structural equation modeling in our analyses to understand developmental trajectories over time. We have a history of applying FAS results to developing prevention programs, and the proposed study will continue this effort. Our unique dyadic perspective will contribute to intervention development for parent/child early interventions in the area of ATOD.
This longitudinal study seeks to examine the intergenerational transmission of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use in a predominantly African American sample of parents (ages 31-34) and their children. By investigating parent ATOD use, parenting trajectories, and child problem behavior over time, researchers can better grasp the behavioral pathways that predict children's ATOD use in adolescence and young adulthood.