Study finds indulgent parents may aid binge drinking

by | Jun. 24, 2010

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You can't just love your kids away from alcohol. In fact, teens who viewed their parents as warm and affectionate, but lax in their monitoring, were three times more likely to engage in heavy drinking than their loved and supervised peers, according to a new BYU study.

The findings, in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, state that teens who feel supported and loved as well as monitored by their parents were the least likely group to engage in "heavy drinking," defined as five or more drinks at a time.

"It's a good idea to have both (supervision and affection) in your relationship with your child, rather than thinking that one or the other is going to be sufficient to ensure that they're avoiding those risky behaviors," said John Hoffmann, BYU professor of sociology and study co-author.

The study relied on information from 5,000 Utah students, ages 12 to 19, who shed light on their drinking habits as well as their relationship with their parents through questions like, "Would your parents know if you didn't come home on time?" and "Do you share your thoughts and feelings with your mother/father?"

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