RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (UPI) – One in four U.S. moms say young children tasting alcohol may discourage teen drinking, while 40 percent say banning alcohol may make it appealing, a study found.
In addition to those who favored letting kids taste alcohol so it is no longer a “forbidden fruit,” and those who said banning alcohol only makes if more desirable, 22 percent of the 1,050 mothers interviewed said children who taste alcohol at home with their parents would be better at resisting alcohol-related peer pressure and 26 percent said it would make them less likely to experiment with risky drinking in middle school.
“These findings indicate that many parents mistakenly expect that the way children drink at home, under parental supervision, will be replicated when children are with peers,” study lead author Christine Jackson, a social ecologist at RTI International, said in a statement.
The mothers’ third-grade children who participated in the study were asked whether they had tasted beer, wine or other drinks containing alcohol and whether their parents had ever given them a sip of alcohol. Nearly 33 percent reported having tasted beer, wine or other alcohol with their parents.
The study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found a strong association between parents who were in favor of allowing their children to taste alcohol and children’s reported alcohol use.