Research has consistently shown that indirect parental influences (e.g., permissiveness of drinking) are associated with increased drinking, heavy episodic drinking, and negative alcohol-related consequences. As levels of parental restrictiveness and supervision regarding supervised alcohol use increased, adolescent alcohol use decreased or was less likely to occur.

The family environment

Parental norms for alcohol use are not static and are likely to change with teenage development. Even without actually providing alcohol to their child, parents can play a role by setting the environmental context in which drinking might occur. It is estimated that 13% of Australian children aged twelve years or less are exposed to an adult who is a regular binge drinker. Parents drinking in front of children can display to kids pro-alcohol attitudes.

Parents imposing strict rules related to teenage alcohol use is overwhelmingly associated with less drinking and fewer alcohol-related risky behaviors. With increased experiences drinking with parents, adolescents consider the risks to be less likely. Studies have found more teenagers’ chose not to drink alcohol if parents did not permit them to drink at home or did not provide them with alcohol to take to parties or social events. The later permission was delayed, the less likely teenagers were to consume alcohol.

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