Financial Stress and Drinking During the Transition to Adulthood: The Role of Parental Financial Support

Joyce Serido, Amanda M. Pollitt, Joel A. Muraco, Katherine J. Conger, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the concurrent and prospective associations between financial stress and drinking during the transition to adulthood in the United States, drawing from two distinct stress and coping perspectives as competing explanations for the direction of associations: the Transactional Model of Stress and the Conservation of Resources (CoR) model. Because many emerging adults rely on continuing financial support from parents, we examined the role of parental support on these associations. We tested these associations using longitudinal structural equation modeling with data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 9,026) collected at two time points: early emerging adulthood (ages 18–26) and 5 years later. Consistent with CoR, financial stress reduced concurrent drinking. Furthermore, parental financial support reduced adult children’s financial stress but increased drinking in early emerging adulthood. We discuss the findings in regard to facilitating the transition to adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-500
Number of pages11
JournalEmerging Adulthood
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website ( No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Support for the present study was provided by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA020270). Administrative support for this research was also provided by grant, P2CHD042849 awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Additional support was provided to Conger by the National Science Foundation (1327768) and the UC Davis Center for Poverty Research, and to Russell by the University of Texas Priscilla Pond Flawn Endowment.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society for the Study of Emerging Adulthood and SAGE Publications.


  • alcohol use/abuse
  • family relationships
  • longitudinal
  • parenting
  • positive youth development
  • stress
  • transitions to adulthood


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