Posts Tagged ‘John Moores University’

Drink Young, Drink Less?

In society|BOOK on December 7, 2009 at 4:53 pm

Research findings from Liverpool John Moores University state that allowing children to drink occassionally may reduce binge drinking. Almost 10, 000 15-16 year old participants completed the survey which found that drinking at home may protect children from alcohol damage and violence.

Clearly, drinking at home is the safer option.  According to study results, over a third of drinkers in the above age group admitted to buying their own alcohol.  Obviously, when children buy their own alcohol, there is more free reign as parents are unaware of their drinking behaviours.  The child wants to escape from the environment where underage drinking is not acceptable.  Parents rules can drive children away, resulting in harmful alcohol-related behaviours.  These ideas are confirmed within the research findings, as children buying alcohol were much more likely to binge drink and drink in public places.

Although abstinence within the family removes the risk of drinking alcohol, this benefit is restricted to the home environment.  When parents do not allow their children to drink, they are increasing the likelihood of excessive drinking and dangerous environments. Drinking can sometimes be a result of peer pressure and therefore drinking a small amount at home can show the child that there is nothing that special about the consumption of alcohol.  It would result in the prevention of rebellious behaviours related to alcohol and provide the child with a safe environment to learn the effects and consequences of drinking.

Alternatively, you could argue that children learn from their mistakes and experiences.  Thus drinking outside of the home may in some cases prevent future cases.  However, this is a high risk to take, as some children have no concept of limits to their drinking habits and will do anything to feel popular and part of a social group. If parents give their children an occassional drink, they are taking the responsibility of teaching them how to control their alcohol intake in social situations, increasing their safety.