What is it about?

Good relationships and effective communication between parents and their teenage children can help to prevent young people from starting to use alcohol, tobacco and drugs, as well as reducing the amount they might use if they do start. There are particular factors which influence how useful these conversations can be in influencing young people's alcohol, tobacco and drug use, including good relationships, discussion of parents' own use and particular messages about each substance.

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Why is it important?

Preventing young people from using alcohol, tobacco and drugs has important public health implications, as the earlier such use starts, the more likely people will develop problems with alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Having effective conversations with parents can prevent young people from using these substances and experiencing problems. Parents should be encouraged to have open, constructive, credible, two-sided conversations with their adolescents about alcohol, tobacco and drug use.


This paper reviews the quantitative and qualitative literature to examine which elements of parent-child communication and connectedness (relationships) are effective in delaying/reducing young people's alcohol, tobacco and drug use. It is important that parents have these conversations with their children to delay use of these substances and reduce the harm they might experience. This paper forms part of my PhD thesis.

Dr Hannah Carver
University of Stirling

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Parent–child connectedness and communication in relation to alcohol, tobacco and drug use in adolescence: An integrative review of the literature, Drugs Education Prevention and Policy, September 2016, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/09687637.2016.1221060.
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