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Parental Drinking Boosts Teen Alcohol Risks
Date:2/4/2008

Abuse hinders parenting ability, leading to risky environment, study says

MONDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Parents' drinking directly influences teen drinking and also has an indirect effect through teen perceptions of parenting, especially monitoring and disciplines, a new study says.

Reporting in the February issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers analyzed data collected from 2,402 male and 2,329 female teens and their parents in Finland. The teens were asked about their alcohol use and intoxication at ages 14 and 17.5, while the parents were asked about frequency of alcohol use and intoxication, as well as their lifetime prevalence of alcohol-related problems.

"We wanted to, first, examine the extent of the relationship between the drinking behaviors of parents and those of their adolescent offspring at 14 and 17.5 years of age," corresponding author Shawn J. Latendresse, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University, said in a prepared statement.

"Second, we wanted to determine how much of that association was due to parents' drinking behaviors affecting their ability to parent responsibly, which translated into a risky or protective environment," Latendresse said.

The study found that, among parental dimensions examined, monitoring and discipline played the strongest intermediary role in associations between parental and adolescent drinking behaviors. The researchers also found that the magnitude of this role was much stronger during early adolescence, while parental drinking had a stronger effect on teen drinking in later adolescence.

"With respect to individual aspects of parenting, our analyses show that parental alcohol use, intoxication, and problem drinking symptoms are consistently associated with decreases in monitoring and increases in disci
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