Sequencing drinking events and use of punitive, nonpunitive, and positive parenting behaviors with ecological momentary assessment

Publication Date


Document Type


Publication Title

Drug and Alcohol Dependence






Background: The relationship between alcohol use and parenting is primarily predicated on use of both past year drinking and parenting behaviors, making it difficult to develop prevention and intervention efforts that target alcohol-related maltreatment. Here, we assess the sequencing of parenting behaviors in relation to alcohol use (e.g., whether punitive parenting and alcohol use occur simultaneously). Methods: Using Ecological Momentary Assessment, a convenience sample of parents was asked to take three brief surveys daily (at 10 a.m., 3 p.m., and 9 p.m.) for 14 days. If the parent was with the focal child, they were asked to identify whether they had used one of six randomly assigned parenting behaviors (punitive, nonpunitive, or positive). Alcohol use was queried at the 9 p.m. survey on days 7 and 14. Logistic multilevel models were used to analyze the data. Findings: Parents reported less nonpunitive parenting during the time in which they reported drinking, and less positive parenting behaviors on the morning after the drinking occurred. Conclusions: Parents may be less attentive to children's behavior while drinking, or they may be less inclined to find that behavior needing correction. Drinking may reduce the likelihood of positive parenting the next day if parents are feeling hungover or have negative aftereffects from drinking. These parents may want to explicitly have another adult provide caregiving duties during the drinking event or plan drinking when it is less likely to cause the least amount of harm (e.g., when children are in bed).

Funding Sponsor

Ohio State University


Alcohol use, Child abuse and neglect, Discipline, Ecological momentary assessment, Punitive parenting


Social Work