Two new studies suggest parents can play an important role in preventing teens from drinking, NPR reports.
One study in the journal Prevention Science finds parents who set effective and strict alcohol-related rules, while maintaining a warm and supportive family environment, reduce the risk of binge drinking in their teens. In the second study in the same journal, children who participated in a five-month, home-based alcohol prevention program while they were in third grade were significantly less likely to drink when they were in seventh grade, compared with children who were not in the program.
In the first study, researchers at Claremont Graduate University looked at data from a long-term study that followed more than 9,400 teens from 1994-1995 through 2008, when participants were in their 20s or early 30s. The teens’ parents were interviewed in the first year of the study.
The researchers found teens were more likely to binge drink if their parents did not monitor them and did not provide a supportive home environment. Researcher William Crano said parental monitoring and warmth are protective against drinking, but only if both factors are present.
How often parents drank predicted binge drinking in their children, the study found. The findings suggest prevention campaigns should target parents as well as teens, he said.