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Parental Monitoring Can Curb Teen Marijuana Use
Date:11/19/2009

Those who keep an eye on their kids help stave off unwanted behavior, study says,,

THURSDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Parents who take the time to know what their teenage children are up to and have strong anti-drug views can be effective in reducing their children's marijuana use, a new study says.

Among all the illicit drugs, marijuana is the most widely used by teens, with nearly 42 percent of high school seniors having tried it, according to the study authors.

"We've been working on attenuating drug use in kids," said lead researcher William Crano, a professor of psychology at Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, Calif. "What we have been noticing in our research is that parental monitoring seems to have a strong relationship to lessening of drug use in young adolescents."

To determine if they were on the right track, Crano and his colleague Andrew Lac, a doctoral student at Claremont, decided to see what other research had found on the effect of parental monitoring on teen drug use --particularly marijuana.

So, Crano and Lac reviewed 17 studies, which involved more than 35,000 people. The studies all had adolescent participants, focused on marijuana and monitoring by parents, and the level of parental monitoring was evaluated by the teens themselves.

"We found the effect was there," Crano said, especially for teenage girls. "It was clear that kids who thought their parents were monitoring them used much less marijuana than kids who didn't."

That finding held true for all 17 studies, Crano said. "The interesting thing is this has to do with kids' perception of parental monitoring, not necessarily what their parents are actually doing," he said.

"If your kids think that you know what they are doing, and where they're at, and who they're with and what they are doing when they are not in your sight, that has a big impact on the kind of trouble they are going to ge
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