Children Given Sips of Alcohol by Parents More Likely to Binge Drink
Not long ago, we posted a blog posing the question “Can parents teach responsible drinking?” We stated how it was common for parents to allow their children to drink alcohol while at home in order to keep an eye on them and shape their drinking habits. However, this is not safe and does not teach responsible drinking. A new study has recently been published that backs up this claim.
The new study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, finds that children who try alcohol by the sixth grade were more likely to abuse alcohol or start drinking earlier. The study involved 561 students.
Researchers found that beer or wine were usually the first type of alcohol the children were exposed to. A majority of them were given just a sip by their parents at social gatherings or holiday events. By the time the children reaches the sixth grade, about 30 percent of them had tried the alcohol. Then by the ninth grade, a quarter of those who had tried the alcohol reportedly had a full sized drink. Nine percent of these also participated in binge drinking.
Contrarily, six percent of their classmates had not tried alcohol nor had they been given a drink by their parents. Furthermore, only two percent of this group had participated in binge drinking.
The researchers are not concluding that the one sip or taste provided by the parents are to blame for the early use of alcohol, but they do say that the parents are giving the wrong idea and sending mixed messages.