Maternal predictions about teen drinking help determine if a teen will abuse alcohol, according to a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
If a mother believes that her child is going to drink alcohol in junior high and high school, the child is more likely to do so. The opposite is also true.
"When mothers overestimated their teens' future use of alcohol, the teens developed the self-view that they were likely to drink alcohol in the future, which ultimately led them to drink more," said Stephanie Madson, an associate professor of psychology at Iowa State University.
Dr. Madson and her colleagues studied 800 Iowa mothers and their children over a period of five years. They found evidence that children formed views about alcohol use based upon their mothers' beliefs, especially whether their mothers believed it is acceptable for adolescents to drink alcohol.
"The moral here is to help children develop positive and pro-social self-concepts about themselves, because children are likely to make choices that match how they view themselves," Dr. Madson said. "The more acceptable teens believed adolescent alcohol use was, the more alcohol they tended to drink themselves."
Posted By: Aspen Education Group