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Underage drinking as a natural part of growing up: a UK study of parental beliefs

Underage drinking as a natural part of growing up: a UK study of parental beliefs Parental beliefs about underage drinking are known to influence the drinking behaviours of their children. The purpose of this paper is to explore parental beliefs about their own child drinking alcohol and young people in general, in order to ascertain whether there is a need to target such beliefs in the design of public health interventions.Design/methodology/approachParents of 11–18 year olds attending one of nine schools in the Midlands of England, UK were invited to take part. Participants completed a newly designed 40-item questionnaire measuring parental beliefs about the impact and causes of underage drinking; talking to their child about alcohol; and how much and how often they thought their child consumed alcohol.FindingsIn total, 185 parents took part in the study, reporting on their eldest child aged 18 or under. The majority of parents agreed that underage drinking is detrimental to child health and wellbeing. However, over 60 per cent believed that alcohol consumption is a “natural part of growing up”, and stronger agreement with this belief was associated with higher parental reports of alcohol consumption in their children.Social implicationsThe majority of parents recognised the risks and negative effects of alcohol; however, many also believe it is a natural part of growing up. Parents may hold conflicting beliefs about underage drinking, which could impact on the drinking beliefs and behaviours of their children.Originality/valuePublic health interventions may need to counter the common parental belief that underage drinking is a normal part of growing up and therefore to be expected. Clear messages about the impact parent beliefs and behaviour have on young people drinking, to ensure parents recognise that messages are aimed at themselves, and not just “other parents” are imperative. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Drugs and Alcohol Today Emerald Publishing

Underage drinking as a natural part of growing up: a UK study of parental beliefs

Drugs and Alcohol Today , Volume 19 (3): 10 – Aug 8, 2019

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1745-9265
DOI
10.1108/dat-11-2017-0058
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Parental beliefs about underage drinking are known to influence the drinking behaviours of their children. The purpose of this paper is to explore parental beliefs about their own child drinking alcohol and young people in general, in order to ascertain whether there is a need to target such beliefs in the design of public health interventions.Design/methodology/approachParents of 11–18 year olds attending one of nine schools in the Midlands of England, UK were invited to take part. Participants completed a newly designed 40-item questionnaire measuring parental beliefs about the impact and causes of underage drinking; talking to their child about alcohol; and how much and how often they thought their child consumed alcohol.FindingsIn total, 185 parents took part in the study, reporting on their eldest child aged 18 or under. The majority of parents agreed that underage drinking is detrimental to child health and wellbeing. However, over 60 per cent believed that alcohol consumption is a “natural part of growing up”, and stronger agreement with this belief was associated with higher parental reports of alcohol consumption in their children.Social implicationsThe majority of parents recognised the risks and negative effects of alcohol; however, many also believe it is a natural part of growing up. Parents may hold conflicting beliefs about underage drinking, which could impact on the drinking beliefs and behaviours of their children.Originality/valuePublic health interventions may need to counter the common parental belief that underage drinking is a normal part of growing up and therefore to be expected. Clear messages about the impact parent beliefs and behaviour have on young people drinking, to ensure parents recognise that messages are aimed at themselves, and not just “other parents” are imperative.

Journal

Drugs and Alcohol TodayEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 8, 2019

Keywords: Adolescents; Young people; Children

References