Wednesday, February 10, 2010
A new study has shown that parents providing alcohol for the teenagers at home may be the wrong thing to do. The study which was published in Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs claims that although parents may have good intentions by teaching responsible drinking, it appears to have the opposite effect on teenagers. There are some experts who claim that parents that drink with their teenage children are teaching them how to drink responsibly and that it will also limit the amount of alcohol outside of the home. The recent study conducted flies in the face of that line of reasoning.
Researchers worked with 428 Dutch families in order to conduct the study. The 428 families had two children between the ages of 13 and 15; they answered questionnaires on their drinking habits at the outset of the study and again one and two years later. The results showed that the more teenagers were allowed to consume alcohol at home, the more alcohol they would drink outside the home; in turn the children had a greater propensity for problems. The study also showed that children who drank under their parents' supervision had a heightened risk of encountering alcohol involved problems.
The idea that children will model their parent behavior when it comes to drinking is absolutely unfounded and untrue. The leader of the study Dr. Haske van der Vorst of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands claims that the old belief was based off common sense and not scientific evidence. "For example, the thinking is that if parents show good behavior -- here, modest drinking -- then the child will copy it. Another assumption is that parents can control their child's drinking by drinking with the child, I would advise parents to prohibit their child from drinking, in any setting or on any occasion", said van der Vorst. The best way to promote responsible drinking is to limit the teenager's exposure, who children drink with or where children drink alcohol does not have the effect that doctors had once hoped.