Good Kid-Parent Relationship Prevents Teen Drinking

The conclusion belongs to a new study

By on 24 Apr 2009, 09:19 GMT
Parents should have a good relationship with their children for a vast number of reasons, and adding to those is the fact that, if they do so, then the children are very likely to start drinking at a much later age than they would otherwise. This is very important, psychologists say, because the older the teen is, the more they're likely to understand the effects of alcohol, and not give in to peer pressure. In addition, from a purely medical standpoint, it lessens the risk of them developing alcohol abuse problems, or diseases associated with consuming this type of products.

The new research has been conducted by Dr. Emmanuel Kuntsche, an expert at the Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems, in Lausanne, Switzerland, and has appeared in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. It's meant to be a reminder to parents, who, at times, forget the crucial role they play in the lives of their children. It's not only education that prevents teens from taking up drinking, but also a sense of inclusion. Statistically, many of the children who pick up the bottle are confronted with very bad situations at home and view this habit as a way of escaping reality.

“Our work shows that the 'preventive effect' of a later drinking age is likely to be a side effect of a good parent-child relationship. In other words, the circumstances in which that first drink occurs – and how parents deal with it – is important,” PhysOrg quotes Kuntsche as saying. The expert adds that, the earlier youngsters start drinking, the more they're likely to get into alcohol-related problems, such as bar fights, less time dedicated to studies, poor academic performance, and other such matters. Kuntsche and his team have surveyed 364 teens for two years, with regular check-ups every four months.

The trend they have noticed is that children who have reported beginning to drink at an earlier age than the others during the first survey have also been more likely to drink even more by the second survey. By the time the third survey has been carried out, they have already shown signs of being at risk of developing alcohol-related diseases. Conversely, in the case of the children who have reported less drinking at an earlier age, the researchers have noticed a strong connection with their families, which has supported the teens and has made them feel included.

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Parents play a crucial role in determining when their children start drinking
   Parents play a crucial role in determining when their children start drinking