The heaviest consumers of alcohol among youth ages 11 to 17 are teenagers who have the lowest levels of parental control and the highest levels of secrecy behaviors, according to a study of adolescents' drinking habits conducted by Mark McCann of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow. The longitudinal study followed 4,937 teenagers between 2000 and 2001.
“The study demonstrates the association between parental monitoring and adolescent alcohol use,” McCann said.
More parental monitoring was associated with less frequent adolescent drinking. The amount of control exercised by the parents was more important than not only the quality of the relationship among the parents the youth but also the developmental and social differences with age.
“Parental rules may have more of an influence over factors outside the home such as peer influences and social media,” McCann said.
The paper, “Assessing elements of a family approach to reduce adolescent drinking frequency: parent-adolescent relationship, knowledge management, and keeping secrets,” is published in the journal Addiction.