Study Says Drinking with Your Kids Doesn’t Prevent Abuse

Join Together reports:

Dutch teens who were allowed to drink alcohol at home drank more outside the home than their peers and — along with other teens who drank — were at increased risk of developing alcohol problems, according to researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen.

The study authors tracked 428 Dutch families with two children ages 13-15. They found that teens who drank at home also drank more on their own, and vice-versa, suggesting that teen drinking begets more teen drinking regardless of setting.

“The idea is generally based on common sense,” said researcher Haske van der Vorst. “For example, the thinking is that if parents show good behavior — here, modest drinking — then the child will copy it. Another assumption is that parents can control their child’s drinking by drinking with the child.”

However, the study demonstrated that, “If parents want to reduce the risk that their child will become a heavy drinker or problem drinker in adolescence, they should try to postpone the age at which their child starts drinking,” said van der Vorst.

The research was published in the January 2010 issue of theJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.