-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Young teens who are allowed
to drink alcohol under adult supervision don't learn about
responsible drinking and actually drink more as they get older, a
new study says.
Some parents believe that supervising their teens while they
drink small amounts of alcohol will teach them to drink
responsibly, according to the authors of the study published in the
May issue of the
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Researchers followed more than 1,900 teens in Washington state
and Victoria, Australia, as they progressed from seventh to ninth
grade. The children were asked about their alcohol use,
alcohol-related problems, and how often they drank alcohol with an
By eighth grade, about 67 percent of the Australian teens and 35
percent of the American teens had drunk alcohol with an adult
present, a difference that reflects general cultural attitudes in
the two countries. By ninth grade, 36 percent of Australian teens
and 21 percent of American teens had experienced alcohol-related
consequences such as not being able to stop drinking, having
blackouts and getting into fights, the study found.
Teens in both countries who were allowed to drink under adult
supervision had higher levels of alcohol use and were more likely
to have experienced alcohol-related consequences by ninth
The findings suggest that parents should not permit young teens
to drink any alcohol, even under adult supervision, the researchers
"Kids need parents to be parents and not drinking buddies," lead researcher Barbara J. McMorris, of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, said in a journal news release. "Adults need to be clear about what messages they are sending."
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has
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