(Reuters Health) – Nearly half of UK teenagers saw a parent who is not alcoholic or has hints, and more than one in three can nominate at least one with drinking the parents.
There is a “large proportion” of children in the UK living with parents who are not dependent on alcohol but drink at moderate levels, the authors of the study say.
“We wanted to understand the impact that this drinking may have on children,” said author Lucy Bryant from the Institute of Alcohol Studies in London with Reuters Health by email.
The Bryant team surveyed 997 adults and 997 children aged 10 to 17 years (one parent and a child in a family). Parents were asked how much alcohol they had consumed and how often they drank for negative and positive reasons. The children were asked if they had ever seen their parent “tips” or “drunk”, and whether the drinking had influenced parents' behavior.
Overall, 51% of children had parental prompts and 31% had drunk parents, reported in Alcohol and Alcoholism.
More than one third of the children – 35% – named at least one negative impact that their parents were drinking.
The children most frequently reported getting less (12%) and sleeping later than usual (11%). They also felt that parents claimed that they had more (8%) and behaved in a unpredictable way (8%).
Fifty-six per cent of parents said that they sometimes drink to relax or feel happier, while 29% said they were drinking. About 1 in 4 said that they sometimes drink when they feel weak or nervous, or that they get out of their problems.
Children were more than twice as likely to report a negative outcome when parents reported drinking for negative reasons.
The more alcohol parents spend regularly, children are more likely to report negative results. When parents were divided into three groups based on their alcohol consumption for the last 28 days, children whose parents were drinking at intermediate level (between 8 and 26 drinks) were 71% more likely than parents to report negatively to parents. Fruit is lower consumption. And children whose parents were at the highest level (more than 26 drinks in the last 28 days) were more likely to report negative outcomes as children whose parents were drinking less.
The impact of parental drinking among young people aged between 14 and 17 years seemed lower, but the authors said that more research was needed to find out why.
“The older age group can verify real harm, but it is likely that some of the negative results we presented, for example, would not play less,” said Bryant.
The results add to increased evidence of the harm to children whose parents drink within recommended recommended limits, said the MRC Clinical Research Fellow at the National Addiction Center, King's College London.
The study does not create negative experiences among children as a result of parental drinking, he said. “It may be because of something else, not linked to alcohol,” said Roberts, who was not part of the current study, with Reuters Health in email.
Roberts also noted, based on the survey questions, that the researchers cannot be sure that none of the parents in the study were difficult drinkers.
And while the parents matched the UK demographic profile, perhaps not in keeping with the profile of UK parents, the researchers acknowledge.
However, they state that the outcomes could help parents and policy makers to take steps to reduce the impact on children.
Roberts said that a wider alcohol strategy is needed.
“We need to think about tackling alcohol at a public health level, considering its affordability and availability and how alcohol is placed on the market,” he said.
“By addressing these issues at population level, we can expect to reduce the size of the alcohol society, both for individuals who are drinking and for those who are not.” T
SOURCE: bit.ly/2QAUG8p Alcohol and Alcoholism, online November 5, 2019.
(TTTranslate tags) US (t) HEALTH (t) ALCOHOL (t) Alcohol Abuse (t) Children / Youth Issues (t) Health / Medicine (t) Living / Lifestyle (t) Clinical Medicine (t) Depression (t) t ) Psychology (t) Pediatric Medicine (t) General News (t) Europe (t) Public Health (t) Internal Healthcare (T) (T) United Kingdom