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Positive Parenting


The majority of teens say the greatest risk in using marijuana is upsetting their parents (69%), followed by losing the respect of friends and family (67.2%).
-- Partnership for a Drug-Free America. (2005). Marijuana Report: Assessment of the National Anti-Drug Media Campaign.

Youth who are not regularly monitored by their parents are four times more likely to use illicit drugs.
-- Metzler, Rusby and Biglan. (1999). Community builders for success: monitoring after-school activities. Oregon Research Institute.

Kids who learn about the risks of marijuana and other illicit drugs from their parents are far less likely to use drugs.
-- SAMHSA. (2005). Perceived Parental Disapproval of Substance Use. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2004.


 Parents who involve youth in their own use or misuse of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs also increase the youth's chances of using earlier than other children. Involvement may include giving a child a "sip" or asking your teen to get you a beer or light a cigarette for you.
-- 18 Hansen, W.B., Graham, J.W., Sobel, J.L., Shelton, D.R., Flay, B.R., & Johnson, C.A. (1987). The consistency of peer and parent influences on tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use among young adolescents. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 10, 559-579; Brook, J.S., Brook, D.W., Gordon, A.S., Whiteman, M., & Cohen, P. (1990). The psychosocial etiology of adolescent drug use. A family intersectional approach. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 116(2); Jackson, C., Henriksen, L., Dickinson, D., & Levine, D.W. (1997). The early use of alcohol and tobacco: Its relation to children's competence and parents' behavior. American Journal of Public Health, 87(3/March), 359-364.


Parents' or caregivers' use or abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs significantly increases the youth's chances of using, using early, and being dependent on the substance.
-- Hawkins, J.D., Catalano, R.F. & Miller, J.Y. (1992). Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 64-105; Biglan, T., Duncan, T.E., Ary, D.V. & Smolkowski, K. (1995). Peer and parental influences on adolescent tobacco use. Jounral of Behavioral Medicine, 18(4), 315-330.


Many studies have found that positive relationships or connectedness between parents and adolescents is linked to avoidance or lower use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs.
-- 21 Hundleby, J.D., & Mercer, G.W. (1987). Family and friends as social environments and their relationship to young adolescents' use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49, 151-164; Resnick, M.D., Bearman, P.S., et al. (1997). Protecting adolescents from harm: Findings from the National Longitudinal Study for Adolescent Health, Journal of the American Medical Association, 278(10): 823-832. As cited in Moore, K.A., Guzman, L., Hair, E., Lippman, L. & Garrett, S. (2004). Parent-teen relationships and interactions: Far more positive than not. Child Trends Research Brief, Publication 2004-25.


Adolescents who have high-quality relationships with their parent are less likely to initiate sex or be sexually active.
-- Miller, B.C. (1998). Families Matter: A research sysnthesis of family influences on adolescent pregnancy. Washington, DC: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.


When family monitoring and rules are in place, adolescents are much less likely to begin using drugs, primarily by affecting the teen's choice of friends.
-- 24 Mann, A. (2003). Relationships matter: Impact of parental, peer factors on teen, young adult substance use. NIDA Notes, 18(2), August 2003.


Studies show that parents who are overly permissive and unwilling to set limits deprive teens of needed guidance and supervision, which puts them at risk of all kinds of risk behavior. Lax, inconsistent or excessively harsh discipline and excessive, unrealistic demands have also been associated with youth drug use.
 -- Kumpfer, K., Olds, D., Alexander, J., Zucker, R., & Gary, L. (1999). Family etiology of youth problems. In R.S. Ashery (Ed.), Research meeting on drug abuse prevention through family intervention. NIDA Research Monograph 177, pp. 42-78.



High school teens whose parents communicate with them about key life transitions are more likely to honestly report what they are doing and with whom they are spending time with (96% vs. 77%), are more likely to be influenced by their parents not to drink (87% vs. 53%) and are more likely to be influenced by their parents to not use drugs (91% vs. 69%).
--  SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual. (2005). Teens Today 2005.


Research shows teens whose parents use a "balanced" parenting style--are warm and involved, firm in setting limits and show respect for their teen--do better in school, report less depression and anxiety, have higher self-esteem and self-reliance, and are less likely to engage in all types of risky problem behavior, including drug and alcohol use, sex or violence.
-- Steinberg, L. (2001). We know some things: Parent-adolescent relationships in retrospect and prospect. Presidential Address. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 11(1), 1-19. Lamborn, S., Mounts, N., Steinberg, L., & Dornbusch, S. (1991). Patterns of competence and adjustment among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful homes. Child Development, 62, 1049-1065; Steinberg, L., Lamborn, S., Darling, N., Mounts, N., & Dornbusch, S. (1994). Over-time changes in adjustment and competence among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent and neglectful families. Child Development, 65, 754-770; and Steinberg, L., Lamborn, S., Dornbusch, S., & Darling, N. (1992). Impact of parenting practices on adolescent adjustment: Authoritative parenting, school involvement, and encouragement to succeed. Child Development, 63, 1266-1281.

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