Multilevel effects of alcohol among early adolescents in an urban school district
Aims: To examine how interpersonal interactions within and between the social networks formed by teachers, parents, students, and others shape the unique culture of the school, which in turn, reciprocally exerts a determining influence on each individual in the network.
Design: Cross-sectional study exploring whether factors associated with alcohol use at the individual level also exert influence on the culture of a school.
Setting: Twelve middle schools within an urban school district in the Midwestern United States.
Participants: Seventh grade students (N = 1,620).
Measures: Lifetime alcohol use behaviors; mothers’ and fathers’ involvement in their child’s education; and peer deviance.
Findings: The findings of this study suggest that as parents’ involvement in education increases, and as peer deviance decreases, there are direct benefits to the child, and a protective effect for other children within the school when, in the aggregate, parental involvement increases and peer deviance decreases.
Conclusions: The effect of interventions to improve parent involvement and reduce peer deviance, with examinations at the individual-level and school-level, warrant future study.
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