Some Parents Are Allowing Their Teens to Drink During Lockdown

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Many parents, mainly moms, taking on added duties linked to their children during lockdowns like guiding their online classes, giving activities, and entertainment, people, might expect a boost in alcohol consumption.

Based on the new study of Sarah Mustillo and her team in Notre Dame College of Arts and letters, they found out that 1 in 6 parents let their teens drink during the lockdown. 

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Parents allow teens to dring during the lockdown

The story was different before COVID. Parents who were surveyed before all said that they did not let their teens drink before lockdown. The study involved 456 parents from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, with two teens siblings about 2.5 years apart. The families finished online, private surveys during the lockdown in the spring of 2020. 

From the 16% who allow teen drinking to at least one of their teens, drinks at home. 46% of the parents, on the other hand, allowed both their teens to drink. In contrast, 24% of the parents only allowed teen drinking to their older children, and 4% only allowed the younger sibling. 

Teen drinking in different states

A lot of states have rules to drinking age laws. For example, in Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, teens are allowed teen drinking in private and non-alcoholic selling places without their parent's consent. But in 29 states, teens can drink in private and non-alcoholic selling places only if they have their parent's permission. 

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Why do parents allow their teens to drink?

Experts found that the most vital factor why parents allow teen drinking is if the teens already drank before the COVID-19 lockdown. Mustillo and her team found the number of families that are now letting teen drinking shocking. 

Mustillo said that they were shocked because many parents believe that letting students drink only when they are looking, such as when they are at home with them, might lead to less misuse or binge drinking in the future. But, data does not support such a statement. She added that finding that parents were more likely to allow teen drinking during lockdown is 

Parent alcohol permissiveness and early drinking are risk factors for binge drinking. That is why Mustillo and her team suggest that teens visit their doctors to follow alcohol screening rules. The team also suggests that doctors should support parents to maintain an alcohol-free childhood. They also added that future research should explore the root causes for changes in parenting ways and test whether younger siblings were allowed to drink earlier than expected. 

For future studies

When it comes to parents letting their children drink, the team suggests that future studies test their changes to diet, sleep, screen use, and other behavioral routines. They also offer knowing the long-term effects on parenting and health after the pandemic. 

The people involved in the study were 85% white, 9% Black, and 6% Latino. The most number of people in the study were female at 85%, and just over half are college graduates. 72% of the survey people have jobs, and the average family income is between $80,000 and $90,000.  

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