Saturday, 01 Nov 2014

Parents, kids and alcohol

In the largest Australian study of its kind, a study from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at UNSW Australia has produced some startling evidence including:

  • Parents are the largest supplier of alcohol to under 18s
  • Teens are three times more likely to drink full serves if parents supply

Chief investigator of the study, Professor Richard Mattick, said there was a deal of confusion among parents as to how best to moderate their child’s drinking and thereby hopefully minimise risks such as injury, violence, poisoning, risky sexual practices and future alcohol problems.

At age 12 and 13 years, close to one in six children in the study reported being given alcohol by their parents. By 15 and 16 years of age more than a third of the sample was being supplied alcohol by their parents. Of these, 15 per cent were drinking full serves compared with only 1.5 per cent of the younger children.

“What we found was that early parental supply of alcohol through school years 7 to 9 was the single biggest predictor of drinking in year 10,” said Professor Mattick. “It was more influential than family circumstances and issues; more influential than individual psychological risk factors and more influential than peers.”

Results from the parental supply of alcohol study were presented at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre Annual Symposium in Sydney.