London: A new report has suggested that parents having a regular gin and tonic or bottle of wine in the home are more likely to see their children becoming binge drinkers.
It found that family drinking and seeing their parents drunk raised the risk of children having an alcoholic drink by the age of 13.
Teenagers are twice as likely to have got drunk several times if they witness their parents drunk.
The findings from a major survey suggested that parental behaviour is helping fuel Britain’s teen drinking epidemic. Teenagers are much more likely to have had an alcoholic drink if their parents do not know where they are on a Saturday night, or if they are allowed to watch 18-rated films unsupervised.
The survey of 5,700 schoolchildren, which was commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found that one in four 13 to 14-year-olds have been drunk more than once, which doubles to just over half of children by the time they reach 15 or 16.
“This research shows that parents can have more influence on their teenagers’ behaviour than perhaps many assumed,” the Daily Mail quoted Claire Turner, from the foundation, as saying.
“Both what parents say and how they behave have a strong impact on their teenagers drinking, drinking regularly, and drinking to excess,” added Turner.