Parenting Styles and Drinking Among Teens

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When it comes to kids and trying alcohol, there is little that parents seem to be able to do to prevent it. However, research has proven that when it comes to the frequency and amount of alcohol teenagers consume, parenting style does play a significant part.

When it comes to kids and trying alcohol, there is little that parents seem to be able to do to prevent it. However, research has proven that when it comes to the frequency and amount of alcohol teenagers consume, parenting does play a significant part. Researchers from the Birmingham Young University collected data on 5,000 teenager's drinking habits, and the relationship they share with their parents to investigate the relationship between the two.

The comparative study was based on two criteria - parental accountability (knowing where their kids are and when), and warmth (between parent and their child). As it turns out, kids with parents who scored high on both counts were the ones who were the least likely to indulge in heavy drinking. Conversely, "strict" parents - ones who were high on accountability and low on warmth - were more than twice as likely to be a heavy drinker, while "indulgent" parents, the ones who scored low on accountability and high on warmth, increased their teen's risk of heavy drinking by almost three times.

These results were generally consistent across the board, even after taking into consideration other possible influences for heavy drinking, such as peer pressure, or different religious, cultural and economic backgrounds.

This data suggests that authoritative parents, ones who keep their children well-monitored, and at the same time offer a large amount of support and backing, are more likely to be able to keep their kids in check when it comes to drinking. "...peer encouragement to drink might have less impact when parents are both highly supportive and highly attentive," the authors concluded.

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Written by

Miss Vanda

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