Importance of parents, peers, age and gender for adolescent drinking

Another study has investigated factors contributing to adolescent drinking. Key findings are:

  • Children whose parents exert greater control over their free time activities tend to drink less frequently
  • Early control has a lasting influence on alcohol use
  • Higher rates of drinking in early adolescence leads to reduced levels of parent-controlled boundaries and limits at home
  • Being in a school with a higher proportion of frequent drinkers is a risk factor for frequent drinking
  • Girls who attend single-sex post-primary schools tend to drink more than girls attending co-educational schools. (No differences for boys)

These results follow the first five years of a longitudinal study in Belfast, Northern Ireland, involving forty schools, colleges and special educational programmes.


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