April 28, 2021 – “Parents establish norms around drinking in childhood and adolescence and their attitudes and behaviour can influence their offspring’s use. What our study has shown is that parenting style – either warm or controlling – could be a far more important, and controllable factor, in people’s propensity for alcohol problems later in life than whether they allow their adolescent’s access to alcohol or whether they drink or not,” he says.

“Alcohol misuse is a preventable source of social physical and psychological harm that typically starts in adolescence. So this is a critical time in a person’s life and a time when, as we have found, a certain type of parenting style can lower risk.”

Professor Boden says the reason for the link between positive parenting and a lower risk of alcoholism is not explored in the study, but the parenting style has been shown in other research studies to be associated with a number of other positive outcomes for offspring.

He says it is not possible to ‘draw out individual cases’, such as those who become alcoholics despite an ideal childhood and adolescent home environment. “However, believe it or not, the ‘black’ sheep’ seems to be rarer than people might imagine,’’ Professor Boden says.



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