Authoritative Moms and Underage Drinking: New study says your teens won’t listen, but their friends will
If you’re worried your teen might not be listening to you when you warn them about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, take heart: There is a good chance they might be paying attention to their friend’s mom. Or vice versa: your teen’s friends might be listening to you, IF you have the proper parenting style.
A new study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, conducted by UC-San Diego and Harvard Medical School researchers, shows that kids are influenced positively by their friends’ moms to not drink or do drugs, especially when their friends’ Moms have an “authoritative” style of parenting.
What is an authoritative style of parenting? According to the study’s authors, there are four types of parenting styles based on the categories of parental control (how much a parent intervenes in their child’s life) and parental warmth (how “positive affect” a parent shows for their child).
Results from the study indicate that even if a teen does not have an authoritative parent themselves, if they are connected to an authoritative parent via their friends, they are less likely to be involved in substance abuse.
Data collected from over 90,000 participants show that if a teen has a friend with an authoritative mother, that teen was:
- 40% less likely to drink to the point of drunkenness
- 38% less likely to binge drink
- 39% less likely to smoke cigarettes
- 43% less likely to use marijuana
than a teen whose friend’s mother was “neglectful.” Additionally, the study indicates that teens who observe their friends’ parents interacting positively with their teen might benefit directly from those observations, as well as receiving mentoring benefits in the long-term from their friends’ parents.
What do you think of this study? Do you agree that the parents in your teen’s peer group can be that influential?