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Authoritative Parenting Increases Teen Drug Use

Update Date: Jun 11, 2014 06:16 PM EDT
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Having strict parents may actually increase the risk of drug use in teens, according to a new European study.

Researchers looked at the risk of children using alcohol, tobacco and cannabis in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Researchers said the goal of the study was to identify the type of parent-child relationship that best protects children from taking drugs.

"Our results support the idea that extremes are not effective: neither authoritarianism nor absence of control and affection. A good relationship with children works well. In this respect, it can go hand in hand with direct control (known as 'authoritative' or democratic style) or not (style wrongly called 'indulgent')," lead researcher Amador Calafat said in a news release.

The findings revealed that the indulgent and authoritative parenting styles work best for substance use and personal disorders.

"For self-esteem and school performance, it is still better when parents operate with the indulgent style," Calafat added. "This study allows a focus and common discussion in Europe in drug use prevention programs."

"From a global personal health perspective, the 'authoritative' and 'indulgent' parental styles equally protect against the use of drugs," Calafat concluded.

The latest study involved 7,718 adolescents between the ages of 11 and 19.

The study "Which parenting style is more protective against adolescent substance use? Evidence within the European context" was published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

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