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Drugs and alcohol are bad for the body at any age. Parents of teenagers often fear their child becoming involved in such behavior, falling off a positive path, and heading toward a downward spiral. To combat this possibility, parents try restricting their children from being around certain groups of friends. However, Treatment Alternatives New York alcohol rehabilitation facility suggests parents consider the effects of their own behavior as well.  There is a lot of speculation around who casts the heaviest influence on a child when it comes to using drugs or alcohol. Many parents blame peers, but research indicates otherwise.

Research conducted by Demos, a United States based think tank research and policy center concluded that by the time a person reaches their mid-30s, their drinking habits will mimic the drinking habits of their mother. The study observed the drinking patterns of over 18,000 people born in 1970. The study began with a questionnaire for 16-year-olds who were asked to rate how much they believed their parents drank on a four-point scale: never, sometimes, often, or always. The study followed the drinking habits of these teenagers over the course of three decades. Here are the results:

At age 16, the most influential factor on how much a teenager drinks are their peers, with little to no attitude regarding their parent’s alcohol consumption.

At age 34, the amount of “binge drinking” equaled the amount that adults believed their mother drank during their childhood. The study showed that by their mid-30s, the drinking habits of those being studied were closely in line with that of their mothers. For example, those adults who previously rated their mother’s drinking as “sometimes” drank sometimes, and those who rated their mother’s drinking as “always” were more likely to drink as often.

The study did not find a correlation between alcohol consumption in adulthood with how much a teenager’s father drank. However, the research did indicate that children were more likely to see their mothers drinking, since fathers typically do their drinking outside of the home. If this is not the case in your home, the alcohol rehabilitation center says it is safe to conclude that a child’s behavior will likely mimic whichever parent is being observed more.

The most interesting part about the study is the delayed impact of a parent’s actions on their own children’s conduct later in adulthood. If you or someone you know is experiencing an alcohol addiction, it is time to consider the negative affect your addiction is having on your child, both now and in the future. It is important to submit yourself to the proper treatment program as early as possible. Not only will it positively affect your life, but your children’s future. Call the New York alcohol rehabilitation and substance abuse facility at Treatment Alternatives today.

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