Parent-based interventions on adolescent alcohol use outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ai Bo, Audrey Hang Hai, James Jaccard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Background: The effects of parent-based interventions on adolescent alcohol use are unclear, including what factors moderate intervention effects. This study examines the effects of parent-based interventions on adolescent alcohol use and whether the treatment effects vary by participants’ characteristics and intervention characteristics. Methods: Eleven electronic databases and relevant studies' references were searched for eligible studies published before March 2017. Randomized controlled trials investigating the efficacy of any parent-based intervention for alcohol use outcomes among adolescents up to 18 years old were eligible for review. Two reviewers independently conducted screening, data extraction, and risk of bias assessment. Robust variance estimation in meta-regression was used to analyze treatment effect size estimates and to conduct moderator analysis. Results: Twenty studies were included in the meta-analysis. The average treatment effect size across all drinking outcomes, with 44 effect sizes from 20 studies, was g = −0.23 with a 95% confidence interval [−0.35, −0.10] which is statistically significant. Parent-based interventions appreared to have larger mean effect sizes on adolescent drinking intention than binge drinking. Interventions targeting both general and alcohol-specific parenting strategies had larger average effect sizes than interventions targeting alcohol-specific parenting only. Conclusions: This meta-analysis found evidence of parent-based interventions' efficacy in preventing or reducing adolescent alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018



  • Adolescent drinking
  • Parenting
  • Randomized controlled trials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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