Parents who Exit and Parents who Enter. Family Structure Transitions, Child Psychological Health, and Early Drinking

Donatella Lanari, Università di Perugia
Marta Pasqualini, Università di Roma La Sapienza
Luca Pieroni, Università di Perugia

Family structure has been widely considered as a fundamental determinant of child’s health and wellbeing. Prior researches have also examined the relationship between family dissolution and child’s propensity to adopt risky behaviours. However, the patterns of family structure have changed dramatically in the last decades and so others parental characteristics associated with a stable and healthy family environment should be investigated in their effects on child’s risky behaviours.

In this paper, we use path analysis to assess whether a supportive family environment (more than the family structure itself) decreases the probability to drink alcohol among UK pre-teens and whether it happens also by enforcing the awareness about risks due to alcohol consumption. Data come from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (Sample of 21,205 individuals, 11-years-old).

Understanding whether a supportive family environment affects alcohol risks perceptions and the probability to explore alcohol early in life may represent a key factor in implementing preventive interventions. Moreover, examining early drinking has potentially important public health implications since this phenomenon is strongly widespread among British 11-years-olds.

Presented in Session 69: Mortality and Living Arrangements