New study says mothers shape adult drinking patterns
Kids often emulate their mother, not father, when it comes to drinking habits in adulthood, says a landmark study.
Children are more likely to see their mothers drink than their fathers, who do most of their drinking outside the home, the researcher said.
Demos, the think-tank, tracked the drinking patterns of 18,000 people over three decades.
Jonathan Birdwell, head of Demos' Citizens' Programme said: "What we found really interesting was this delayed effect; the impact of what teenagers perceived about their mothers' drinking habits doesn't show an impact at the time, but decades later."
The study found that at 16 years, teens were mainly influenced by their peers in how much they drank, while their parents' attitudes towards alcohol appeared to show little impact.
Yet by the age of 34, the likelihood that they were "binge drinking" rose in line with how much they had thought, as a child, that their mother drank. As teenagers, the group was asked to assess whether their parents drank 'never', 'sometimes', 'often' or 'always', the Telegraph reports.
Researchers found that with each step that mothers rose on the four-point scale, the chance that their adult children were drinking above recommended limits rose 1.3 times.
The research found that "tough love" parenting was the best way to reduce the propensity of alcohol problems.
The findings are set to be presented Tuesday at a fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.