Parents` behaviour has impact on teen drinking

London: Teenagers are twice as likely to have been drunk several times if they have seen their parents in the same state, a survey found on Friday.

The odds of an adolescent having tried alcohol are also higher 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 poll of 5,700 children found.

A quarter of 13-14-year-olds have been drunk more than once, compared to just over half of children (52 percent) who are 15-16, according to the survey commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

"This research shows that parents can have more influence on their teenagers` behaviour than perhaps many assumed," said the Joseph Rowntree Foundation`s Claire Turner.

"Both what parents say and how they behave have a strong impact on their teenagers drinking, drinking regularly, and drinking to excess."

The study also said the influence of friends was another important factor, with the likelihood of teenagers drinking to excess more than doubling if they spent more than two nights a week socialising.

Spending every night with friends multiplies the chances of drunkenness more than four times.

"The findings suggest that efforts to improve drinking behaviour among young people at a national policy level are best directed at supporting and educating parents," said Turner.

"This should include positive messages for parents about how they can influence their child`s behaviour and stress the importance of parents` own drinking and what their children see and think about this.

"Schools could also be a channel for information, getting targeted messages to parents encouraging actions at specific times in their child`s development."

Bureau Report

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