Parents can help to reduce their children’s risk of problem drinking during college by keeping a more watchful eye on them during high school. The finding is the result of new research published in a recent edition of Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy.
This latest study centers on a group of 1,253 male and female college students surveyed the summer before they entered college. Researchers measured the students’ parental monitoring levels by interviewing them regarding drinking and curfew rules during high school, adult supervision, and the consequences they typically faced when they broke drinking rules in high school. High levels of parental monitoring were associated with lower levels of both high school and college drinking.
Authors of the study note that previous research has linked parents’ disapproval of underage drinking to a lower risk of alcohol use, and that increased parent-child hostility has been tied to a greater likelihood of problem drinking. They also note that although parents typically keep looser tabs on their children once they reach college, some continued level of monitoring may be effective in protecting them from risky alcohol use.
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