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30 August 2021

Positive parenting linked to fewer problems (including alcohol misuse) in later life

A longitudinal study of more than 1000 people in New Zealand has found links between positive parenting in childhood and adolescence and less alcohol misuse, alongside less stress and improved mental health and employment.

The study, just published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, contributes to a growing body of research indicating the long-term social and economic benefits of universally available parenting interventions, including links to lower rates of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD as defined by DSM-IV).


“Investment in positive parenting in adolescence may reduce AUD and associated harms in adulthood,” according to the research, led by Professor Boden and a team from Otago University in New Zealand.


The researchers used data from the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS), which followed participants born in 1977 through to age 35.


Positive parenting scores were based on data gathered when participants were adolescents, and included high scores on both paternal and maternal care and attachment; low scores on over-protectiveness and parental intimate partner violence, and little-to-no use of physical punishment.


A more positive parenting environment was linked to lower alcohol and substance abuse in adult life, along with lower rates of unemployment, less stress, and fewer mental health problems.


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