Independent (UK) 28 August 2011
Parenting style is one of the strongest influences on how much alcohol a child will drink as a teenager and young adult, new research has revealed. Independent think tank Demos found that bad parenting at 16 made children more than eight times more likely to become binge drinkers at that age and twice as likely to drink excessively when they were 34. While bad parenting at 10 doubled the chances of children bingeing on alcohol in their mid-30s. Researchers analysed data from more than 15,000 children born in Britain over the last 40 years as part of the study. They found the “tough love” style of parenting, which combined warmth and discipline, was the most effective in ensuring against children developing an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Less effective styles were “authoritarian” parents, who set high standards and employ strict discipline, “laissez faire” parents, who are emotionally engaged but do not set rule or boundaries, and those who are “disengaged” with their children.