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Teens Drink Most Just Before Stepping into College

by Tanya Thomas on July 10, 2010 at 10:42 AM
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 Teens Drink Most Just Before Stepping into College

An American alcohol researcher has found that teens consume more alcohol during summers, before the new academic session begins in fall.

University of Rhode Island Psychology Professor Mark Wood advises parents to monitor their children - know where they are, whom they are with and what they are doing.

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He said: "This type of monitoring, particularly in combination with an emotionally supportive parenting style, is associated with less drinking and fewer alcohol-related problems across numerous studies.

"It is also important for parents to express clear disapproval of alcohol use and to provide clear and fair consequences associated with breaking the rules. Research shows this combination of factors decreases alcohol use and problems through adolescence and into college."
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Wood continued: "We live in a era when students are texting and talking to parents, sometimes many times a day. Although the term helicopter parent does have a negative connotation, I think conversations about drinking are good whenever and wherever they occur."

"Most American teenagers begin to drink by age 15. By the time they go off to college, most have considerable drinking experience. Ideally, parents should be having conversations about alcohol throughout high school. But it's never too late to begin an ongoing dialogue about drinking with teens."

Adolescents tend to increase their alcohol use the summer before entering college and during their first semester at college. This is also true of children who have been consistently monitored and emotionally supported. However, these children don't increase consumption to the levels of kids who didn't have that kind of parental involvement in high school.

Wood said: "The protective effects that parents exert in high school continue to be influential into college even at a time when the kids have left the home. It's the internalisation of those values, attitudes, expectations that seem to continue to exert an effect."

Source: ANI
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