New research shows that parental influence can help lower the rate of teen drinking. When parents engage in good parenting practices, they keep the lines of communication open, and they place restrictions on teen drinking then this activity is less likely as a result. Craig Colder, a psychologist with the University of Buffalo, was the lead researcher on the study. The results showed that when parents had a consistent and sustained attitude about alcohol abuse then there was a lower risk of teen drinking, but it also showed that parents who talk with kids about the dangers of alcohol use when the children were younger did not continue these discussions when the children reached their teenage years. According to Colder “This finding suggests that parents shouldn’t underestimate the impact of maintaining that messaging as their children move through adolescence.”
The study on teen drinking and parental influence can be found in the publication Addictive Behaviors, and it is titled “A latent growth curve analysis of alcohol-use specific parenting and adolescent alcohol use.” Colder explained “What our data is suggesting is that you can’t control all of your kids’ decisions, but you can help them to make good choices in situations where alcohol is available. You want kids to think about and reflect upon the pros and cons of drinking based on your previous discussions.” Colder said that the research study was undertaken because “We wanted to understand how kids’ attitudes develop.” Many parents loosen rules as their children get older, and prohibitions against alcohol use tend to weaken. This can lead to a higher risk of teen drinking.