Document Type


Publication Date



Research addressing parent-child communication on the topic of alcohol use relies heavily on assessing frequency of discussions and general assessments of openness in parent-child communication, ignoring the complexity of this communication phenomenon. This study adds to the literature by articulating a conceptualization and developing a measurement of parent-child communication—targeted parent-child communication about alcohol—and comparing the efficacy of targeted parent-child communication about alcohol in predicting positive expectancies of alcohol use and recent alcohol use. The predictive power of general openness in parent-child communication and frequency of communication about alcohol also were assessed. Students in 5th and 6th grade (N = 1407) from 29 public schools completed surveys. Targeted parent-child communication about alcohol was negatively associated with both outcomes. Frequency and general openness were only negatively associated with positive expectancies regarding alcohol. Implications of these findings for the etiology and prevention of substance use are discussed.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Health Communication in 2010, available online at DOI: 10.1080/10410231003698952.


Taylor & Francis



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.