Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Human Development and Family Studies


Human Development and Family Studies

First Advisor

Brenda J. Lohman

Second Advisor

Tricia K. Neppl


Adolescents are particularly more vulnerable than adults when consuming the same amount of alcohol; thus creating greater health problems for adolescents who continue to drink on a regular basis as they transition into adulthood. Adolescent alcohol use can be further exacerbated when coupled with familial risk factors such as harsh parenting and parent alcohol use. However, individual personal characteristics such as self-esteem can diminish possible negative consequences associated with early-onset drinking. Utilizing the four-chapter, two-paper format, this dissertation centered on two research areas regarding these concepts: Paper (1) The contributing factors of alcohol use over time guided by Family Systems Theory; and Paper (2) The impact of positive personal characteristics as a form of resiliency on the continuity of alcohol use over time employed by a Resiliency framework. Data was drawn from the Family Transitions Project (FTP). This dissertation provided evidence as to the magnitude of influence of predictors of risk and resilience from adolescence to adulthood. In paper 1 (N = 390), adolescent and father alcohol use as well as externalizing behaviors were driving determinants of persistent alcohol use. Harsh parent-adolescent interactions demonstrated a significant, indirect effect between emerging adult and adult alcohol use. In paper 2 (N = 492), positive personal characteristics were not tenacious in minimizing the exhibition of externalizing behaviors or persistent alcohol use into adulthood. This dissertation advances the literature by evaluating adolescent alcohol use in regards to the stability of individual alcohol use, externalizing behaviors, and positive personal characteristics over a 20-year time frame. Implications are additionally included which outline potential avenues of preventing or diminishing the impact of risk-patterned alcohol use over time.


Copyright Owner

Sarah Elizabeth Bickelhaupt



File Format


File Size

120 pages