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Children Copy Parents Drinking Habits

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010 Children Copy Parents Drinking Habits

Parents are misjudging the influence their drinking habits are having on their children’s attitudes to alcohol, according to a new study.

Over 50 per cent of young people who have drunk alcohol say they were given it by their parents and children were more likely to drink themselves if they grew up in a household where adults drink heavily.

The research, study commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, is intended to grasp an idea of the attitudes and use of alcohol among parents and young people.

The results of they study come as a new government campaign called Why Let Drink Decide? is launched intended to highlight the risks associated with alcohol to young people. Local authorities will be handed “good practice guides” to help them work with other services, such as the police, to stop under-age drinking from becoming a problem in their area

The study was based on 4,000 interviews with parents, children and young people.

It found that a quarter (26%) of children said that their parents had never spoken to them about alcohol.

In addition to this, eight out of 10 parents admitted that they had no pre-planned strategies to tackle irresponsible drinking by their children.

The majority of parents said they were fully aware of their child’s drinking habits, however one in 10 (9%) said they were unaware if their child had drunk alcohol.

Schools minister Vernon Coaker said on Tuesday: “Today’s research shows that parents underestimate their influence over their child’s drinking and attitudes to alcohol, yet a quarter of young people have never spoken to their parents about the issue. That’s why through the ‘Why Let Drink Decide?’ campaign we are giving parents and young people the confidence to have open conversations about alcohol, to ultimately delay the age at which young people start drinking.

“Some young people need more help, support and fun alternatives to drinking, which is why we are launching the Kickz Cup 2010 today.”

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