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Parents Who are Involved are Best Teen Alcohol Deterrent

The answer to keeping kids away from alcohol may not be found in measures like marketing campaigns or warning labels. Instead, the answer may be right at home - in the form of parents, suggests research conducted through Sweden's Karolinska Institutet.

The subject of parents being the most influential factor in their child's tendency for alcohol use is summarized in recent news, including the conclusion that parents who have a solid, healthy relationship with their children are taking huge strides toward deterring their child from alcohol abuse as teens, and perhaps even later in life.

Anna-Karin Danielsson, Department of Health, focused her thesis on the connections between parents' influence on children's drinking patterns, with research spanning five years and including 1,200 students who where in the 13 to 19 age group. Findings indicate that if a teen is participating in risky behaviors, immediate parent intervention can help prevent higher risks for alcohol consumption in future years. When parents intervene, they can also help their child avoid problems with peers, at school and with their health.

For boys, the key may be knowledge. Parents who carefully observe who their teen boy spends time with and what he does with his friends can help their teen have a lower risk of drinking alcohol or using cigarettes in high school. For girls, the parental focus should be on building an emotionally-solid, close relationship to help her avoid problems with alcohol.

Danielsson also suggests more preventative steps be aimed at teens and alcohol abuse, rather than anti-alcohol efforts being prepared mainly for adults. Researchers also call for greater measures to help support teens whose parents may not be a healthy source of support or involvement.

Posted on May 16th, 2011
Posted in Teens

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