First Drink

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on who gives kids their First Drink.

Many Kids Get First Drink from Parents, Study Says

Many kids get their first taste of alcohol from their parents, but it's not usually the result of raiding the family liquor cabinet, a new study concludes.

The Associated Press reported that researchers from the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health studied alcohol initiation among roughly 4,000 sixth- to eighth-graders in the Chicago area. Researcher Mary Hearst and colleagues found that among 12-year-olds who had consumed alcohol, a third said their parents had given them their first drink. Just a handful reported stealing from the family liquor cabinet, and only 2.4 percent said they got alcohol from a commercial establishment.

"Early onset of drinking leads to a long list of alcohol-related problems," said Hearst. "It is important to educate parents about the consequences of alcohol use at a young age and try to prevent them from being their child's primary source of alcohol."

As students got older, their alcohol use increased, and youths were less likely to get alcohol from parents and more likely to get it elsewhere. The study showed that drinking rates increased from 17 percent at the beginning of sixth grade to 40 percent by the end of eighth grade.

The study appears in the journal Preventive Medicine.


Hearst, M.O., Fulkerson, J.A., Maldonado-Molina, M.M., Perry, C.L., Komro, K.A. (2007) Who needs liquor stores when parents will do? The importance of social sources of alcohol among young urban teens. Preventive Medicine, In Press, Corrected Proof, doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.02.018.

This article summarizes a mainstream media report of research published in a scientific journal. It is not an original analysis of the source material, which is cited in the reference above.

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