Parental R-Rated Movie Restriction and Early-Onset Alcohol Use

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Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

Parents who allow their children to view R-rated movies are increasing the likelihood that their children will try alcohol at an early age, according to new research published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The study, by Dartmouth Medical School researchers, involved 3,577 youths who said they had never tried alcohol. Follow-up interviews one to two years later found that 24.4 percent of adolescents whose parents allowed them to watch R-rated movies “all the time” had tried alcohol since they were first surveyed, compared with a 2.9 percent alcohol initiation rate among youth whose parents never allowed them to watch R-rated films. The survey was conducted at 15 New England middle schools in 1999. Then the 2,406 respondents who reported never having had a drink were asked 13 to 26 months later if they had tried an alcoholic drink without their parents’ knowledge.

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