The Guardian has a story about young people and alcohol:
Teenagers who drink alcohol with their parents are less likely to binge drink, according to a survey of 10,000 children which backs the continental style of introducing teenagers to small amounts of alcohol early.
Parents who do not want their children drinking behind their backs should limit their pocket money to less than £10 a week, says the study, carried out by academics and trading standards officers.
It found that teenagers who illegally bought their own alcohol were six times as likely to drink in public, in parks and on the streets, three times as likely to be regular drinkers and twice as likely to be binge drinkers.
Also of interest here are the findings from the 2004 report on the drugs, smoking and drinking survey of young people. As you can see in the table below they found that most young people gain access to alcohol through parents and friends although that starts to change as pupils get older. The report says:
Relative to other methods of obtaining alcohol, purchasing or attempted purchasing of alcohol was not common – 6% of those who had ever drunk had tried to buy from a shop, supermarket or off-licence in the last four weeks and 5% had tried to buy from a pub, bar or club. The most common sources for obtaining alcohol by those who had ever drunk were being given it by parents (27%), being given it by friends (27%), asking someone else to buy alcohol (20%) and taking alcohol from home (18%). Stealing alcohol was rare – among those who had ever drunk, 6% had stolen alcohol from home in the last four weeks, 1% had stolen alcohol from a friend’s home and 1% had stolen it from somewhere else.
Update – The BBC are also running the story. And from there I’ve found the paper which concludes:
Here we have shown strong links between the risky consumption of alcohol and factors such as expendable income and underage sales. We have also identified potentially protective factors against such consumption including parental provision of alcohol and engagement in other youth activities. In turn such intelligence points towards a series of interventions including: limiting and monitoring young people’s funds; increasing costs of alcohol; providing and promoting participation in sporting and other social activities for youths; and identifying and closing all retailers selling to those underage. Such interventions are not expensive, complicated or difficult to implement. They require parents to examine children’s expenditure and perhaps even moderately consume alcohol with them, educating them about its use and providing positive role models for responsible consumption. They also require the political willpower to eradicate any parts of the alcohol industry that provide alcohol to juniors. However, the effectiveness of such measures will still rely on youths having alternatives to alcohol and consequently local authorities and governments prioritising legitimate youth activities over more bars and nightclubs.
Filed under: alcohol, NCCDP, parents