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Alcohol-use in Adolescence, An Act Influenced by Family

Similar to other drugs like cocaine, marijuana or cannabis, alcohol contains chemical compounds which can cause negative long-term effects on mental and physical health. Although alcohol abuse is influenced by multiple factors, consumption of alcohol during adolescence is significantly influenced by parents’ attitude and behaviour about drinking.

Therefore, family can either be a protective or a risk factor. Furthermore, the emotional attachment between the teenager and family can also be a predictor of alcohol use. The lack of parental control over alcohol consumption can have serious consequences on teenagers’ development, although studies report that family does not fully account for teenagers’ alcohol misuse.

Some of the significant consequences of alcohol use in adolescence include impairment of memory, difficult cognitive control, low academic performance, behavioural or neuropsychological issues, poor physical development or death.

Although legislations about alcohol consumption recommend initiation of drinking at age of 16 under parental supervision, it has been reported that parental monitoring, direct or indirect involvement, general discipline and a positive parent-child relation are the key factors with protective effects on adolescence alcohol consumption. Moreover, parents’ approach or general communication with their offspring on alcohol can reduce later use and peer-influence.

In contrast, different findings challenge the idea of parental supervision as being a significant protective factor and indicate that it can have the opposite effect. According to the study of McMorris and colleagues (2011), supervised adolescents could be remarkably predisposed to high levels of alcohol use suggesting that a strict parental approach could have harmful effects.

Another aspect which could predispose teenagers to alcohol misuse is family structure. Researches indicate a consistent link between single-parent and risky behaviours in adolesence such as drug use, alcohol use or delinquency mostly due to the social and financial disadvantages. Opposite to these findings, single-parents can also effectively moderate and mediate the risk factors through discipline indicating parental involvement as a major influence.

Despite family structure or quality of communication, recent studies have focused their attention on online alcohol advertising suggesting that alcohol marketing can influence moderate drinking behaviour in adolescence regardless of family’s influence Such behaviour could be explained by the Media Practice Model which states that adolescents’ desire of consuming alcohol could be reinforced by visual stimuli.

Some of the significant consequences of alcohol use in adolescence include impairment of memory, difficult cognitive control, low academic performance, behavioural or neuropsychological issues, poor physical development or death.

 

Besides family structure or quality of communication, recent studies have focused their attention on online alcohol advertising suggesting that alcohol marketing can influence moderate drinking behaviour in adolescence regardless of family’s influence. Such behaviour could be explained by the Media Practice Model which states that adolescents’ desire of consuming alcohol could be reinforced by visual stimuli.

While family seems to remain the main influential factor on alcohol use in adolescence, future studies are required in order to determine whether or not the external factors interfere with parental support.

 

Image:mykidstime.com

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