Friends and family influence drinking patterns

Recent research has revealed that teenage drinking patterns in England are affected by friends and family.

Conducted by Ipsos MORI for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the study found that people close to the teenagers were a stronger influence than factors such as individual well-being, celebrity figures and the media.

A total of 5,700 were monitored between the ages of nine and 13 and 14 and again at the age of 15 to 16.

Around seven in ten of the younger students had drunk alcohol, with the majority claiming to have had their first drink by the age of 13.

Meanwhile, children whose parents do not know where they are on a Saturday night or who allow them to watch 18-rated films, were more likely to have had an alcoholic drink.

Claire Turner, programme manager for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, commented: "This research shows that parents can have more influence on their teenagers' behaviour than perhaps many assumed.

"Both what parents say, and how they behave, have a strong impact on their teenagers drinking, drinking regularly, and drinking to excess."  

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Friends and family influence drinking patterns
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