The gender specific mediational pathways between parenting styles, neuroticism, pathological reasons for drinking, and alcohol-related problems in emerging adulthood
Mediational links between parenting styles, neuroticism, pathological reasons for drinking, alcohol use and alcohol-related problems were tested. A two-group SEM path model with 441 (216 female, 225 male) college students was examined. In general, pathological reasons for drinking mediated the impact of neuroticism on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems. A different pattern of relationships was found for each of the two genders. Perceptions of having an authoritarian father were positively linked to higher levels of neuroticism among males but this pattern was not found among females. For males, neuroticism mediated the impact of having an authoritarian father on pathological reasons for drinking with pathological reasons for drinking mediating the impact of neuroticism on alcohol-related problems. Perceptions of having a permissive father were linked to lower levels of neuroticism in females (but have been found as a consistent risk factor for other pathways to alcohol use elsewhere). Compared with other work in this area, these findings indicate parental influences regarding vulnerabilities for alcohol use may be specific to parent–child gender matches for some pathways and specific to one parent (irrespective of child gender) for other pathways.