How our attitude to drinking affects our children

How our attitude to drinking affects our children

Published by Grace Mcgachy
11:43am 12th June 2019. (Updated at 11:44am 12th June 2019)

A relaxed attitude towards alcohol might actually encourage our children to get drunk.

That's according to research from the University of East Anglia and Cambridge University.

Children are more likely to start drinking alcohol, drink more frequently and get drunk if their parents have a lenient attitude towards drinking.

alcohol


Alcohol use is one of the biggest risk factors for social and physical harm and has been linked to the development of diseases including cancer, diabetes, and liver and heart disease.

Even though the legal age to buy alcohol is 18 years and above in most countries, the 2015 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs found that almost half of 15-16-year-old students had consumed alcohol and 8 per cent had been drunk by the age of 13.

drinking

 

Children as young as two years old become aware of alcohol and are able to distinguish alcoholic from non-alcoholic drinks and from four on, they start to understand that alcohol is usually restricted to adults and consumed in specific situations.

New research published today in the journal Addiction, finds that children whose parents had less restrictive attitudes towards their child's alcohol use were more likely to start drinking alcohol than their peers.

They also drank - and got drunk - more frequently.

young teens drinking generic


The findings come from a review of published articles examining parent-child pairs and the relationship between parental attitudes and their child's alcohol use.

The researchers pooled information from the 29 most relevant articles and analysed all the relevant information, which included data from almost 16,500 children and more than 15,000 parents in the US and Europe.

Mariliis Tael-Oeren, PhD student and lead author for the study, said:

wine

 

"Our study suggests that when parents have a lenient attitude towards their children drinking alcohol, this can lead to their child drinking more frequently - and drinking too much.

Although the data was based on children and their parents in the US and Europe, we expect that our findings will also apply here in the UK."

Alcohol


Research also found a mismatch between what children think is their parent's attitude towards them drinking and what the parent's attitude actually is.

Children were no more likely to start drinking alcohol if they perceived their parent to have a lenient attitude, but once they had started drinking, they were more likely to drink often.

empty wine bottles

 

"This mismatch doesn't mean that children perceive parental attitudes completely differently from their parents.

Instead, it could be that their perceptions are skewed towards thinking their parents have more lenient attitudes.

This could be because their parents haven't expressed their attitudes in a way that the children really understand.

Alcohol use can be problematic, particularly among young people. It's important that children understand the short and long term consequences of drinking.

If parents don't want their children to drink, then our study suggests they need to be clear about the message they give out."

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all KL.FM 96.7 platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Older article

Concern for teen who hasn't been seen in five days

KLFM News: Lincolnshire Police are worried about Robbie Wilson

Top articles

It's a rising cause of deaths in West Norfolk

KLFM News: It's a trend that's "as predictable as it is tragic"

Square Mile: Skyscraper rules tightened over 'wall of wind' fears for cyclists

UK News: Stricter rules on the construction of new skyscrapers in London are being drawn up over concerns that a so-called "wall of wind" effect could knock over cyclists and pedestrians.

The Ashes: Australia star Steve Smith ruled out of third Test

World News: Australia batsman Steve Smith has been ruled out of the third Ashes Test at Headingley due to concussion.

Ben Unwin: Home and Away actor who played Jesse McGregor found dead at 41

Showbiz: Home and Away actor Ben Unwin, who played Jesse McGregor in the Australian soap, has died aged 41.

Ellen White, Karen Bardsley and Jill Scott left out of England squad for upcoming friendlies

Sport: Ellen White, Karen Bardsley and Jill Scott have been left out of England's squad for friendlies against Belgium and Norway, while Chelsea forward Bethany England is among four new call-ups.

More support for those affected by suicide

KLFM News: NSFT has appointed a new family liaison officer

Watch over Norfolk's children

KLFM News: Leading charity calls for government action to protect children from online abuse

Top tips for a stress-free visit to the vets

Lifestyle: It needn't be stressful! With some careful preparation, heading to the vet can be stress-free for everyone involved.

Road shut off in Shouldham Thorpe

KLFM News: It's due to a two car collision

The King rules again for the 16th time!

On This Day: Listen back to 'The Wonder Of You'