THURSDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Although parents may not
be able to stop their teen from experimenting with alcohol, a new
study suggests that they do have a lot of influence when it comes
to preventing their child from developing a heavy drinking
Based on a survey of almost 5,000 participants aged 12 to 19
years, the finding is reported in the July issue of the
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs by researchers from
Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah.
After analyzing their poll results, Stephen Bahr, a professor in
BYU's College of Family, Home and Social Sciences, and colleague
John Hoffmann, found that parents who are both warm with their
children and rigorous about wanting to know where their teen is
spending time and with whom are less likely to have teens that
engage in heavy drinking (defined as more than five drinks in a
Such parents are also more likely to have children that had
By contrast, parents who are more "indulgent" -- namely, less
focused on accountability, but high on warmth -- have teens who
face a threefold greater risk for heaving drinking.
And so-called "strict" parents who are high on accountability
but less warm have double the chance that their teen will drink
"While parents didn't have much of an effect on whether their teens tried alcohol, they can have a significant impact on the more dangerous type of drinking," Bahr said in a university news release.
Hoffmann's advice for parents is this: "Realize you need to have
both accountability and support in your relationship with your
adolescent. Make sure that it's not just about controlling their
behavior -- you need to combine knowing how they spend their time
away from home with a warm, loving relationship."
The survey also revealed that religious teens were much less
likely to drink any alcohol whatsoever.
For more on teen drinking, visit the
We Don't Serve Teens Web site.