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Parental rules affect underage drinking

Underage alcohol consumption is a major issue and is often associated with a variety of unsafe activities, such as vandalism, drunk driving and violence among peers. However, California parents who are concerned about their underage children drinking alcohol may be able to curtail the behavior by establishing clear rules.

According to a survey conducted on over 1,100 American teenagers and young adults, teenagers are 33 percent less likely to attend a gathering where alcohol consumption is taking place if their parents had clear rules against underage drinking. Those respondents who had recently attended parties where alcohol was consumed were 38 percent less inclined to drink at the gatherings if their parents had established such rules. Parental rules used in conjunction with community laws and policies can be effective. Fifty-eight percent of the teens surveyed stated that their parents had clear and understandable rules. One of the more dangerous behaviors associated with underage drinking is binge drinking. A 2012 report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that binge drinking can drastically and negatively affect an individual's health and is a contributor to cancer and liver disease.

Additional research is needed to determine which kind of parental rules are most effective at stopping and preventing underage drinking. It is not known whether strictly prohibiting alcohol consumption or using typical rules, such as curfews, is the more effective method. Other factors regarding certain aspects of the family should also be examined to see if they are impactful. This includes the parents' personal backgrounds with alcohol consumption, religious beliefs and the birth order of the child.

Having strict rules against alcohol consumption can also cut down on the number of teen drivers receiving DUI charges. As a conviction can have a severe impact on a teenager's future, parents may want to warn their children about the consequences.

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