Parents' and students' reports of parenting: Which are more reliably associated with college student drinking?

Lindsey Varvil-Weld, Rob Turrisi, Nichole Scaglione, Kimberly A. Mallett, Anne E. Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Recent efforts to reduce college student heavy episodic drinking have examined parental influences, with the goal of continually refining parent-based interventions (PBIs). This research has primarily relied on student-reported data, which is often cited as a methodological limitation although the degree to which parent- and student-reported data on parenting behaviors correspond is unknown. The goals of the present study were to assess the level of consistency between parent- and student-reported data for commonly examined parenting constructs and compare their associations with college student drinking. Data were collected from a sample of 145 parent-student dyads using a longitudinal design. At baseline, parents and students reported on parental monitoring, approval of light and moderate/heavy drinking, and permissiveness. At a 10-month follow up, students reported on their typical weekly drinking and consequences. Parents' and students' reports of parenting behavior at baseline were compared and their associations with student drinking and consequences at follow up were assessed. Agreement between parents' and students' reports of parenting was fair to moderate, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from .34 to .61. Student-reported data were more reliably associated with student drinking at follow up. Studies examining parent influences on college student drinking, including research on PBIs, do not appear to be limited by using student-reported data. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1699-1703
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by NIAAA grant R01-AA015737 awarded to Rob Turrisi, Ph.D. NIAAA had no role in the analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.


  • College drinking
  • Data collection
  • Parent influences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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