The research concludes that if children do not see their parents as strongly disapproving of sipping, the children will be more likely to indulge in alcohol use."
New York, Aug 27 - Do you allow your growing kid to sip or taste alcohol while you enjoy the evening with friends at home or in a restaurant? He may be at the risk of becoming an early drinker.
According to a significant study, children who sipped alcohol before age 12 reported that their parents were more approving of child sipping or tasting alcohol.
These kids were more likely to be current drinkers than children who did not have a first sip of alcohol before age 12.
The study shows that if parents drink in front of their children, their kids will be more likely to sip or taste alcohol as a child, researchers wrote.
The findings indicate that initiation of sipping/tasting was less related to psychosocial proneness for problem behaviour and more related to perceived parental approval for child sipping, explained John E. Donovan, an associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at University of Pittsburgh.
For the study, researchers used data drawn from the first 14 waves of an ongoing longitudinal study of the risk factors for early onset of alcohol use (the Tween to Teen Project).
A sample of 452 US children (238 girls, 214 boys), aged eight or ten years, and their families were analysed. The children were interviewed using computer-assisted interviews.
Although we found that first sipping is not an indicator of issues that would be of concern to parents, namely, problem proneness, the study demonstrate that early sipping is related to a familial culture of more alcohol use, expressed via parental approval of sipping in their children and by greater alcohol consumption by the parents, Zucker emphasised.
The research concludes that if children do not see their parents as strongly disapproving of sipping, the children will be more likely to indulge in alcohol use.
The findings are set to appear in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.