Parents Who Allow Teens to Drink Sending Wrong Message, Says Study

Parents Who Allow Teens to Drink Sending Wrong Message, Says Study

In what are sometimes described as "safe party houses," parents of teenagers are letting their teens and their children’s friends experiment with alcohol, believing that this is the approach that can help teach kids to consume alcohol responsibly.

They’re wrong, say researchers.

In a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, May 2011, researchers from the Centre for Adolescent Health in Melbourne, Australia, and Seattle’s Social Development Research Group evaluated how parental treatment of teen drinking worked to promote or prevent the behavior. Nearly 2,000 adolescents, aged from seventh grade to ninth grade, were surveyed to learn about their alcohol consumption and challenges they had experienced from it.

While frequency of consumption and problems they reported differed from participants in Victoria, Australia, as compared to participants in Washington State, one finding remained the same: when they were permitted to consume alcohol around adults, the youths consumed more alcohol by the time they entered their freshman year of high school. They also noted more negative impacts by their ninth grade year than did their peers, according to recent news reports on the study.

Researchers concluded that parents should implement complete forbiddance of alcohol for teens, anywhere, anytime, to prevent future problems and further consumption. They believe youth respond best to clear-cut, direct guidance about alcohol being off-limits, rather than the convoluted message they receive when parents try to allow teens to consume small amounts of alcohol. Researchers also suggest that parents keep any alcohol in their home in an area teens can’t access.

Find relief in recovery. Life gets better with addiction treatment.

Call our experts today.