Positive Parenting, Brain Development, and Teen Alcohol Use

A recent COGA prospective study led by Dr. Gayathri Pandey and colleagues, was covered in Psychology Today by Dr. Dona Matthews. The study investigated whether parents’ closeness to their children aged 12 to 17 had an impact on the teens’ binge drinking behavior. They found that young people at risk of alcohol abuse were less likely to be binge drinkers, and more likely to show signs of healthy brain development, if they felt close to their parents through the teen years.

Key points:

  • High-risk teens who feel close to their parents are less likely to be binge drinkers and more likely to have healthy brain development.
  • During your child’s adolescence, do your best to take of yourself.
  • Listen calmly, confidently, and respectfully to your teen. Challenges to your values can be opportunities for healthy discussion, even if heated.

Pandey G, Kuo SI, Horne-Osipenko KA, Pandey AK, Kamarajan C, de Viteri SS, Kinreich S, Chorlian DB, Kuang W, Stephenson M, Kramer J, Anokhin A, Zang Y, Kuperman S, Hesselbrock V, Schuckit M, Dick D, Chan G, McCutcheon VV, Edenberg H, Bucholz KK, Meyers JL, Porjesz B. Associations of parent-adolescent closeness with P3 amplitude, frontal theta, and binge drinking among offspring with high risk for alcohol use disorder. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2023 Jan;47(1):155-167. doi: 10.1111/acer.14973