Parental monitoring and family relations are recognized as protective factors for youth alcohol use. The purpose of this study was to investigate perceived parental monitoring and family relations among subgroups of Mexican youths with different patterns of drinking behaviors and consequences.
A latent profile analysis (LPA) identified profiles of drinking behavior in a cross-sectional survey of entering first year university students. Multinomial regression examined associations between parental monitoring, family relations and drinking profiles among 22,224 students.
Both lower perceived parental monitoring and weaker perceived family relations were associated with heavier drinking profiles among males and females, but more strongly associated with female than male heavier drinking profiles. Being older, having parents with lower education, and not living with parents were also associated with lower parental monitoring and weaker family relations. There was a general trend of lower parental monitoring and weaker family relations as the profiles increased from Non/Infrequent–No Consequences to Excessive–Many Consequences Drinkers. Lower perceived parental monitoring and weaker perceived family relations were more strongly associated with drinking profiles among females than among males. Both the parental monitoring and family relations scales had similar associations with drinking profiles.
Findings suggest that drinking norms and values may contribute to any protective influences of parental monitoring and family relations on Mexican youths' drinking. Research about changes in drinking norms, contextual factors, and youth–parent trust would inform the utility of parental monitoring or family relations as protective strategies against alcohol misuse among Mexican and Mexican American youths and also youths from other backgrounds.