Being a Strict Parent Doesn’t Protect Against Youth Drinking, Study Says

Parents who insist on accountability from their kids but lack warmth in their relationships  may be setting themselves up for alcohol-related heartache as they raise their children, the Los Angeles Times reported June 24.

Not surprisingly, kids who viewed their parents as indulgent were the most likely to drink heavily, according to researchers at Brigham Young University. However, researchers who compared parenting styles to alcohol consumption among 5,000 adolescents also found that kids whose parents were strict but unsupportive were also big drinkers.

Youths who viewed their parents as both authoritative and warm were the least prone to heavy drinking, the study found. “Authoritative parents tend to be highly demanding and highly responsive,” the study said. “They monitor their children closely and provide high levels of support and warmth. Our data suggest that peer encouragement to drink might have less impact when parents are both highly supportive and highly attentive.”

The research was published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

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