A new study led by Dr. Amelia Arria in the University of Maryland School of Public Health (UMD SPH) reviewed 22 studies which examined the association between parents providing alcohol to adolescents and adolescent drinking outcomes and found parental provision was generally associated with increased use of alcohol by adolescents, and in some cases higher rates of alcohol-related problems. Published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs in July, Dr. Arria, associate professor of behavioral and community health and director of the Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the UMD SPH, and colleagues relied on a mix of cross-sectional and longitudinal peer-reviewed studies for their findings.
Noting that parental provision is a complex issue, researchers included studies in their review where parents offered alcohol, allowed underage drinking in the home, supplied alcohol, were present while their children were consuming alcohol, or hosted social gatherings at which underage children and their friends consumed alcohol. On the whole, the evidence suggested that parental provision of alcohol led to increased adolescent alcohol use and, in some instances, increased binge drinking and higher rates of problems stemming from alcohol use.
The authors’ messages for parents regarding alcohol provision, include:
The paper, Providing Alcohol for Underage Youth: What Messages Should We Be Sending Parents? can be read at: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2014/images/07/16/alcohol-youth.pdf