Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many parents believe that letting young children taste alcohol discourages later use

Date:
September 19, 2012
Source:
RTI International
Summary:
One in four mothers believe that letting young children taste alcohol may discourage them from drinking in adolescence and 40 percent believe that not allowing children to taste alcohol will only make it more appealing, according to a new study. The finding is noteworthy, the study's authors say, because early introduction to alcohol is a primary risk factor for problem drinking during adolescence.

One in four mothers believe that letting young children taste alcohol may discourage them from drinking in adolescence and 40 percent believe that not allowing children to taste alcohol will only make it more appealing.
Credit: Septemberlegs / Fotolia

One in four mothers believe that letting young children taste alcohol may discourage them from drinking in adolescence and 40 percent believe that not allowing children to taste alcohol will only make it more appealing, according to a new study by RTI International and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Related Articles


The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, explored whether parents purposefully introduce children to alcohol at a young age and, if so, why. It also examined parenting practices that impact children's opportunity to try alcohol.

"The idea that early exposure to alcohol can discourage a child's interest in drinking has a strong foothold among some parents of elementary school aged children," said Christine Jackson, Ph.D., a social ecologist at RTI International and the study's lead author.

The study is based on data collected from interviews with 1,050 mothers and their third-grade children. The participants were recruited for a four-year intervention trial that will examine the long-term implications of children's early sipping experience.

Adult participants in the study were asked about their alcohol-specific attitudes and practices as well as their opinions on providing tastes of alcohol to their children.

At least a quarter of the mothers said allowing their children to taste alcohol would discourage their curiosity in it because they would not like the flavor and because it will remove the "forbidden fruit" appeal of it. Forty percent of the mothers interviewed felt that not allowing children to have alcohol would only increase their desire to have it.

Twenty-two percent of the mothers believed that children who taste alcohol at home with their parents would be better at resisting alcohol-related peer pressure, and 26 percent thought it would make them less likely to experiment with risky drinking in middle school.

"These findings indicate that many parents mistakenly expect that the way children drink at home, under parental supervision, will be replicated when children are with peers," Jackson said. "More research is needed to understand how parents acquire these ideas and to understand the relationship between early sipping and alcohol use in adolescence."

The children who participated in the study were asked whether they had tasted beer, wine or other drinks containing alcohol and whether their parents had ever given them a sip of alcohol. Nearly 33 percent of the children participating in the study reported having tasted beer, wine or other alcohol.

The researchers found a strong association between parents who were in favor of allowing their children to taste alcohol and children's reported alcohol use. According to the study, this finding is noteworthy because early introduction to alcohol is a primary risk factor for problem drinking during adolescence.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RTI International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jackson C, Ennett ST, Dickinson DM. Letting Children Sip: Understanding Why Parents Allow Alcohol Use by Elementary School–aged Children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.1198

Cite This Page:

RTI International. "Many parents believe that letting young children taste alcohol discourages later use." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919142010.htm>.
RTI International. (2012, September 19). Many parents believe that letting young children taste alcohol discourages later use. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919142010.htm
RTI International. "Many parents believe that letting young children taste alcohol discourages later use." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919142010.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins