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Kids connect alcohol odors with mom's emotions
Date:6/25/2008

worries, and helps to forget everything.

Mothers' reasons for drinking influenced how children responded to the odor of beer. Relative to children of Non-escape drinkers, children whose mothers were Escape drinkers showed greater dislike for the odor of beer, even when beer was compared with unpleasant odors such as pyridine and cigarette smoke.

Questionnaires also revealed that Escape drinkers drink more often than Non-escape drinkers. Because of this, children of Escape drinkers were exposed to alcohol odors more often. These children also experienced alcohol in a different emotional context, as the questionnaires revealed that their mothers were more tense and more likely to worry and feel guilty about their drinking.

"Even before their first taste, young children are learning about alcohol and about why their parents drink. They do this by seeing people drink and hearing them talk about it," says Mennella. "Our findings show that children are also processing the smell of alcohol with the emotional reasons their mothers, and perhaps fathers, drink."

Mennella comments that additional research is needed to determine whether children who dislike the odor of alcohol and experience it in a negative emotional context are more or less likely as adolescents or adults to seek out alcohol when stressed.


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Contact: Leslie Stein
stein@monell.org
267-519-4707
Monell Chemical Senses Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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