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 Candidate Ebola vaccine still effective when highly diluted, macaque study finds
21.10.2019 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Autism spectrum disorder risk linked to insufficient placental steroid
21.10.2019 | Children's National Hospital

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: Researchers watch quantum knots untie

After first reporting the existence of quantum knots, Aalto University & Amherst College researchers now report how the knots behave

A quantum gas can be tied into knots using magnetic fields. Our researchers were the first to produce these knots as part of a collaboration between Aalto...

Im Focus: A cavity leads to a strong interaction between light and matter

Researchers have succeeded in creating an efficient quantum-mechanical light-matter interface using a microscopic cavity. Within this cavity, a single photon is emitted and absorbed up to 10 times by an artificial atom. This opens up new prospects for quantum technology, report physicists at the University of Basel and Ruhr-University Bochum in the journal Nature.

Quantum physics describes photons as light particles. Achieving an interaction between a single photon and a single atom is a huge challenge due to the tiny...

Im Focus: Solving the mystery of quantum light in thin layers

A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna)

It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to...

Im Focus: An ultrafast glimpse of the photochemistry of the atmosphere

Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich have explored the initial consequences of the interaction of light with molecules on the surface of nanoscopic aerosols.

The nanocosmos is constantly in motion. All natural processes are ultimately determined by the interplay between radiation and matter. Light strikes particles...

Im Focus: Shaping nanoparticles for improved quantum information technology

Particles that are mere nanometers in size are at the forefront of scientific research today. They come in many different shapes: rods, spheres, cubes, vesicles, S-shaped worms and even donut-like rings. What makes them worthy of scientific study is that, being so tiny, they exhibit quantum mechanical properties not possible with larger objects.

Researchers at the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility located at DOE's Argonne National...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

NEXUS 2020: Relationships Between Architecture and Mathematics

02.10.2019 | Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Composite metal foam outperforms aluminum for use in aircraft wings

23.10.2019 | Materials Sciences

Researchers watch quantum knots untie

23.10.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

A technology to transform 2D planes into 3D soft and flexible structures

23.10.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>