Researchers have bad news for parents who think talking about their own past experiences with drugs will discourage their children from using drugs.
(TN4) KRT TEEN NEWS STORY SLUGGED: BODSQUAD KRT PHOTO ILLUSTRATION (May 4) An American Journal of Public Health study found that, when targeted to a specific teen personality type, the anti-marijuana message resulted in a 27 percent drop in the use of the drug. That personality type was thrill-seeker. If youre not that kind of kid, then you probably already think of drug use as stupid. (Diversity) (KRT) AP NC KD 2001 (Horiz) (gsb) Photo: Wire / KRT
A survey of more than 500 Latino and European American students from the sixth through eighth grades found kids who reported their parents talk about past drug use were less likely to have strong anti-drug use attitudes.
Children whose parents did not disclose their past drug use, but instead gave only a strong antidrug message were more likely to express anti-drug attitudes themselves.
Published in the journal of Human Communication Research, the study builds on past research that found teens said they’d be less likely to use drugs if their parents talked to them about their personal drug use. This study found the opposite to be true.
“Parents may want to reconsider whether they should talk to their kids about times when they used substances in the past and not volunteer such information,” Jennifer A. Kam, a faculty member at University of Illinos at Urbana-Champaign and co-author of the study, said in a press release. “Of course, it is important to remember this study is one of the first to examine the associations between parents’ references to their own past substance use and their adolescent children’s subsequent perceptions and behaviors.”
The researchers suggest parents focus on the negative consequences of abusing drugs and alcohol, how to avoid using, the family rules against substance use and stories about others who have gotten in trouble by using substances.
More information: www.icahdq.org