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HHS HealthBeat (July 23, 2012)

Peer pressure and parents

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Teens face peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol. Have a cigarette; it’s just one. Want a beer? Influences on what teens do often come from their friends, but parents have big roles. Researchers interviewed high school freshmen and sophomores, asking them about their substance use, their friends – and their parents’ discipline behaviors and knowledge of their social lives.

Michael Cleveland at the Prevention Research Center at Penn State University grouped students based on their friends, to find:

“Substance abuse was lowest for those teens whose parents were knowledgeable and consistent, and who also had friends whose parents were knowledgeable and consistent.”

Parents should be aware of their teens’ whereabouts. They also can keep track of who their teens are friends with, and get to know the parents of those other kids.  

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: July 23, 2012