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How Parents Can Help Their Underage Kids Resist Alcohol

While a sense of inevitability often surrounds the topic of teen drinking, adults can play an important role in preventing underage alcohol use.

Two recent studies provide guidance for parents. One finds that parents who set limits in a warm and supportive environment reduced the risk that their adolescent children would binge drink. The other study reports on the potential of a home-based program that educates parents and children about alcohol prevention.

The stakes are high. About 1 in 6 teens drank alcohol before turning 13, and about the same proportion of high school kids has binged on alcohol, according to the latest biannual Youth Risk Behavior Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, a third of teenagers drink — down from about half of teens 25 years ago, but still a problem.


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