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Scientists Say to Protect Teens from Alcoholism, Don’t Let Them Drink at Home, Even in Moderation!

posted 11:16 PM EST, Wed January 27, 2010
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Study: Don't Let Teens Drink at Home! © Photo Credit: Laurenmarek

Dutch researchers say that although parents often try to teach responsible drinking by introducing alcohol to their teen children, that this approach generally backfires, and actually promotes heavier drinking in and out of the house.

In Holland, experts often preach common sense advice – such as recommending that parents should teach teens to drink responsibly by drinking with them, in moderation, in the home.

Unfortunately, in this case, some new research shows that common sense makes very little sense and that teens who drink in moderation in the home with parents end up having greater problems with alcohol than teens who abstain in the home.

Dutch researchers gave questionnaires on drinking habits and behaviors to 428 families, and followed up 2 years later to see how things had changed in the interim.

They found that teens that drank alcohol in the home were also more likely to drink outside of the home and had greater alcohol related problems, such as drinking related troubles at school or work, getting into fights and truancy.

Lead researcher, Dr. Haske van der Vorst, said that although parents generally have good intentions when introducing alcohol to teens that any alcohol consumption at a young age seems to promote further consumption – and the possibility of the problems that can accompany teen drinking. She advises, "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."

Read the full study results in the latest edition of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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