Extreme Parenting Styles Linked to Substance Use in Teens

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Extreme Parenting Styles Linked to Substance Use in Teens

A new study finds that both indulgent and authoritarian parenting styles increases the likelihood of teens using drugs and alcohol.

For the study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the researchers looked at the risk of children using alcohol, tobacco and marijuana in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Researchers stated that the aim of the study was to clarify the type of parent-child relationship that best protects children from taking drugs, using two variables: parental control and affection.

For the study, a total of 7,718 adolescents (3,774 males and 3,944 females), aged between 11 and 19 years, were interviewed.

The study results showed that the indulgent and authoritative parenting style increases the chance of personal disorders and teens taking up drugs.

Classification of families is the result of combining the behaviors adopted by various degrees of demand and responsibility. On the one hand, the authoritative model includes families that "give clear rules and affectionately and flexibly reason with the children when asking for their compliance". The authoritarian model coincides with the authoritative model in that both are demanding and controlling, but it differs in that mothers and fathers show less affection. On the other hand, the fathers and mothers of the neglectful and indulgent models are characterised by their low level of control; however, the former are "scarcely affectionate" and the latter are "very emotional".

"Our results support the idea that extremes are not effective: neither authoritarianism nor absence of control and affection. A good relationship with children works well," said lead researcher, Amador Calafat.

Source: HNGN