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Parents Who Allow Early Drinking Boosting Alcoholism Risk in Kids

Update Date: Sep 08, 2014 05:13 PM EDT
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Allowing children to sip alcohol boosts their risk of becoming alcoholics, according to a new study.

While some parents allow that allowing teenagers to drink alcohol teaches their kids to drink responsibly later in life, new research reveals that teens with more liberal parents are three times more likely to drink than those with stricter ones.

Lead researcher Professor Richard Mattick said that many parents don't know how to teach their children how to drink in moderation. However, he noted that the latest study revealed that having an early taste of alcohol will definitely not keep kids from drinking.

The latest study reveals parent's providing alcohol between 7th and 9th grade is the most significant predictor for drinking alcohol in 10th grade.

"Parents are the major supplier of alcohol to the under 18s," Mattick said, according to the Daily Mail. "Many of these do so with the best of intentions, to introduce alcohol in a safe, supervised environment, with the aim of moderating a child's drinking."

This is important, as teen drinking has been shown to increase the risk of injury, sexually transmitted disease and alcohol dependence in early adulthood.

Researchers also found that one in six children report being given alcohol by their parents as age 12 and 13 and more than a third of children report being given alcohol by their parents at age 15 and 16.

"The results also indicate that those children who are given alcohol by their parents may be more likely to seek out alcohol from a variety of other sources," researcher Dr. Monika Wadolowski, who recently completed a PhD on aspects of the research, told ABC.

The study was conducted by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Australia, and involved data from nearly 2,000 families. The findings were presented Monday at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center's annual symposium in Sydney, Australia.

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