Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A caring mother is a child’s best defence against drug culture: European study shows

10.05.2002


The barrier that ‘good parents’ can provide for their children against the drugs culture is beginning to break down in cities where drugs are most freely available, researchers have found.



But the international study, led by Newcastle University in England, concluded that having a caring mother was the single most important factor in preventing youngsters from taking drugs.

The study, funded by the European Commission, found that 14 and 15 year-olds were far less likely to have drug and alcohol habits if they lived with both parents, were properly supervised and enjoyed high quality family relationships.


The research team led by Dr Paul McArdle, of Newcastle University’s Department of Child Health, found evidence that these protective effects were being eroded in areas where drug availability was particularly high. This was probably due to the additional peer pressure on teenagers to try drugs.

The one exception was among teenagers who had strong attachments to their mothers, which was found to remain a very effective barrier to drug abuse even in areas of high availability.

The research team commented that their findings underlined the role of families but especially ‘the unique role of mothers in regulating the behaviour of the great majority of young people.’

Dr McArdle and his colleagues analysed the answers to questionnaires filled in by 3,984 youngsters, aged 14-15, selected at random from cities in England, Eire, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
The youngsters were asked whether they took drugs such as cannabis, amphetamines, ecstasy, LSD or tranquillizers or were regular alcohol drinkers.

They were also asked whether they lived with both parents and a series of questions designed to assess the quality of their relationships and how well they were supervised. Questions included whether their parents cared about them watching excessive TV, whether someone was at home after school, whether they were they allowed to meet friends at home and whether they felt able to confide in their mother, father or grandparents.
The study found that quality of family life, particularly attachment to the mother, was the factor offering the greatest protection to teenagers against developing drug habits. Living with both parents was less important but also offered significant protection.

When both of these factors were present, the rate of drug abuse among the teenagers surveyed was 16.6 per cent. The figure rose to about 32 per cent if either one factor was present but not the other. If neither factor was present, 42.3 per cent of the teenagers used drugs.

Dr McArdle, who practices child psychiatry at the Fleming Nuffield Unit in Newcastle, said today: “This study shows that the quality of family life, or rather the lack of it for many young people, is at the core of the drugs problem in Western society.

‘Yet this message is largely absent from drugs prevention campaigns. We spell out the dangers of drug abuse to children on TV and launch drug prevention initiatives in schools — but it seems that no-one is really tackling the issue of parental responsibility.

‘Of course some marriages come to an end — but both parents could still take an interest in the kids, or perhaps be persuaded to do so. I believe that effective prevention of drug use is more about family relationships than any other factor.’

The report, published in ‘Addiction’, the journal of the Society for the Study of Addiction, states: ‘Both the quality of family relationships and the structure of families appear to be significant influences on youth drug use.

‘Very high availability through peer groups can overwhelm protection against drug use afforded by living with both parents and perhaps supervision.

‘These findings suggest that living with both parents may inhibit drug use but only if availability through peer networks is not very high.

‘They also suggest that attachment, particularly to mothers, is a more potent inhibitor and that this is truly across cultures and substances. This tends to break down only in face of broader syndromes of antisocial behaviour.’

Michael Warwicker | alphagalileo

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>