Adult Supervised Drinking May Not Be Safe For Teens

By Staff Writer

Many parents believe that allowing their child to drink in their presence may teach responsible drinking and minimize the risk of unsupervised alcohol consumption. However, a new study has found that parent-supervised drinking may lead to addiction and other consequences, potentially requiring help from rehab programs.

To evaluate the effects of supervised alcohol consumption during adolescence, researchers from the University of Minnesota compared the drinking habits of a group of youths from Seattle, Washington to those of a set of Australian teens. In Australia it is common for parents to allow their children to consume alcohol in their presence.

After surveying the participants about how often they drank in the company of adults and any alcohol-related consequences they may have experienced, the researchers found that Australian teens were much more likely to have trouble stopping drinking, get in fights or black out.

American teens who drank with their parents, while fewer in number, were also more likely to experience these problems than teens who were strictly prohibited from drinking.

The researchers said that their findings show that teenagers need parents rather than drinking buddies, and that mothers and fathers should not condone any amount of alcohol consumption.