Background: Previous research has suggested a bivariate or correlational relationship between attachment scores and alcohol use behaviors among adolescents.
Methods: The present study is a person-oriented analysis of the association between perceived parental security and alcohol behaviors in Northern Irish adolescents (N=1,126, 61% male, school grades 8 to 12; aged 12 to 16 years).
Results: Model-based clustering of Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment-Revised (IPPA-R) scores yielded five profiles: (a) High Security (n=146, 13%), (b) Moderately High Security (n=371, 33%), (c) Ambivalent Security (n=344, 31%), (d) Moderately Low Security (n=198, 18%), and (e) Low Security (n=67, 6%). High Security adolescents perceived high levels of communication and trust with, and low levels of alienation from, parents. Alcohol use ranked from least to highest in the order provided above.
Conclusions: When compared to peers with High Security profiles, adolescents with Low Security profiles were almost 8 times more likely to be moderate drinkers and 55 times more likely to be problematic drinkers than abstainers.