Why you SHOULDN’T let your teen try alcohol at home: Giving youngsters small sips of beer and wine to encourage safe consumption increases risk of problem drinking
- Giving teenagers small sips of alcohol increases their risk of problem drinking
- Introducing a small amount of alcohol does not encourage safe drinking habits
- It makes teens twice as likely to seek out alcohol themselves, new study finds
Allowing teenagers to have smalls sips of alcohol at home can increase their risk of problem drinking, a new study has found.
Australian teens that have tried alcohol with parental consent are more likely to engage in risky drinking behaviours than those who don’t drink anything, research suggests.
There is no evidence that introducing a small amount of alcohol teaches safe drinking habits, researchers from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre found.
Allowing teenagers to have smalls sips of alcohol at home can increase their risk of problem drinking, a new study has found (file image)
Lead author, Alexandra Aiken, said many parents give sips of alcohol to their teens in a misguided attempt to reduce alcohol-abuse.
‘Even supplying relatively small quantities such as sips increases the risk of adverse outcomes for adolescents relative to no supply,’ she told The Daily Telegraph.
Around 1,900 teenagers were surveyed over seven years about their access to alcohol, binge drinking and harms related to alcohol.
The participants were studied between the ages of 12 to 18 and were recruited from both private and public high schools.
The research found teens who were given alcohol by their parents doubled their likelihood of seeking it out from other sources in the next year.
Drinking with parents also increased the risk of binge drinking and alcohol-related harm within the next year in comparison to not drinking with parents.
No evidence suggest that introducing a small amount of alcohol (file image pictured) teaches safe drinking habits, a study from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre found
Ms Aiken said the risk of harmful outcomes increased with the amount of alcohol that was supplied.
‘Parental supply of even small amounts of alcohol in early adolescence may hasten alcohol initiation, may be perceived by children as permissiveness and approval, and may reduce barriers to alcohol use,
‘All of which in turn might encourage further alcohol consumption,’ Ms Aitken explained.
The researcher encouraged parents to stop providing their children with alcohol and educate them on the risks involved.