“Teenagers smoke and drink more often with parental absence at a young age

“Teenagers smoke and drink more often with parental absence at a young age

It is more common that children who grew up without or with minimal parental presence, by death or marital breakdown, used to be in their teens start drinking and smoking than their peers.

Researchers from the University College London examined data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. For this purpose, health information, use of almost 19,000 children who were born between 2000 and 2002.

During different times in their lives were the children and their parents were interviewed by means of surveys. During the eleventh year of life were all the children the question whether they had ever smoked or alcohol had been drinking.

Parental absence was defined as the ‘loss’ of a parent by death or divorce at the age of seven years or younger. This was one in four children in the case. Within this group, children are 2.5 times as often in contact with smoke for their eleventh year of life.

There was also an increase of 46 percent found the number of children for that age alcohol was consumed.


Both consuming alcohol and smoking differed when looking at the educational level of the parents, birth weight and age of the mother at birth.

The researchers emphasize that it is an observational study goes where no direct link between cause and effect can be demonstrated. However, the researchers of the study stressed that habits at an early age are taught often the behavior at a later age to determine.

Researcher Rebecca Lacey thinks that children from broken families need extra support. “Some children start as possible to drink and smoke to their feelings to be able to go.”

The results of the study are published in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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