Parents the key factor in under-age drinking
17 March, 2011
Parental influence is a massively important influence on children’s likelihood to have problems with alcohol, two new studies have confirmed.
A UK survey by researchers at the University of Bristol found that having parents, in particular mothers, with a higher level of education made children much less likely to drink to excess. It also revealed that teenagers from more affluent families were 22% more likely to drink than those from poor backgrounds—probably because they had easier access to alcohol at home, the study’s authors suggested.
The findings run contrary to popular belief that children from low-income families are more vulnerable to problems with alcohol than more affluent ones. They also emphasise once again the massive importance of parental influence on children’s drinking over other factors like promotional activity by pubs or drinks manufacturers.
But researchers found that kids from poorer families were more likely to have tried tobacco than kids from the wealthier demographics.
That study's conclusions are backed up by another study from the US, which found that children with parents who monitored their social interactions were less likely to have alcohol-related problems. It applied particularly to monitoring by the opposite-gender parent. The study of around 600 college students was conducted by researchers at Baylor University.
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