Starting them young

They announced the results of the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition last night.

I have a passing interest having been a contestant in the very first one over fifty years ago.  I didn't win.

As for the winners this year –

Their project looked at whether parental alcohol consumption has an impact on the drinking habits of their teenage children, explained the 16-year-old transition year students at Coláiste Treasa in Cork.

“We wanted to see if there was a parental effect on their kids’ consumption of alcohol,” says Eimear.

The two put together a survey and distributed it to fifth and sixth year students from schools around the Mallow area, she explains. “We wanted to assess hazardous drinking habits.”

This involves consuming too much alcohol or drinking too frequently, habits that have an impact on health, Ian says.

The two found parental drinking habits, particularly that of the father, had a major impact on their children’s drinking.

They also discovered that parents who believe it is acceptable for their children to drink alcohol on special occasions were up to four times more likely to engage in hazardous drinking than other adolescents.

So this was a first win for a social and behavioural subject on a "topical issue"?  "Something the government is going to have to respond to"?

My sincerest congratulations to Ian and Eimar.

They have a stellar future ahead of them in the Nanny State.

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Comments

Starting them young — 10 Comments

  1. My parents rarely drank, never saw the stuff in the house until I was about 12. I, and my 3 siblings are complete pissheads. 

    • Likewise, my folks only had booze (and cigarettes) in the house to offer guests. They almost never drank themselves except on social occasions, and then very moderately. My three sisters and myself however have all been through pretty heavy drinking phases in our lives (I'm still in that phase, actually….)

      What on earth has happened to the youth of today? Don't they know that rebelliousness is an essential part of the transition from childhood to adulthood?

      • Very strange….  Ditto!  Parents rarely if ever touched a drop, which meant of course that I had to make up for them.

        What these kids have demonstrated remarkably well is that the substance of your research is of little consequence – it's the headline that matters.

  2. "They also discovered that parents who believe it is acceptable for their children to drink alcohol on special occasions were up to four times more likely to engage in hazardous drinking than other adolescents. "

    Does that meet that parents are adolescents in Kanturk?

  3. Fair dues to the schoolgirls who took the initiative of surveying parental drinking habits in their home town of Mallow. Scientific/sociological enquiry is to be encouraged. Indeed, intellectual enquiry in all disciplines is to be encouraged among the Irish yoof. The findings of scientific enquiry can be used for many purposes, just like psychology is used to help people identify their inner demons and take remedial action, while companies, cult leaders and others [insert names of your most loathed TDs here] use psychology for enhancing profits and controlling people. The good lord may inspire one or two of the girl alcohol researchers in later life to get involved in programmes to assist addiction.

    In my childhood, from about age eleven, my parents introduced me and siblings to the appreciation of wine [a noble beverage in the history of western civilization] by opening a bottle of Mateus Rose, with its appealing label on the bell-shaped bottle, or a bigger bottle of Liebfraumilch with its tasteful image of a Liebfrau in Dir-ndl. This happened at occasional Sunday lunches and Christmas Day turkey feasts at first, and a little more often when we had done the Inter Cert, now known as Junior Cert. My parents often smoked cigarettes at home or when driving the car. That put me off smoking for life. I hope the schoolgirl scientists also learned that children often react against parental habits instead of imitating them.

    Do you ever wonder, Grandad, if any of your happy grandchildren will eventually take up pipe smoking?

    • From my anecdotal experience people either follow their parents' example or react against them.  For example, very strict parents wll produce either very strict children or very easy going children with little middle ground.  But then that's just my worthless opinion. 

      As for the grandkids taking up pipe smoking – I'm doing my best……..

      • Adolescents are unpredictable. Ask any parent. Daughters of atheist fathers have been known to enter nunneries. Sons of rally-driving mothers have been known to become ping pong fanatics. The list of reactions could go on…

  4. whole thing is bull shit, we were always allowed to tipple at home took all the fun out of it, if it's allowed by your parrents ewwww

    • Any study which tries to produce general rules from individuals' habits is bound to be bull shit.  Every family is different and that which applies to one family does not necessarily apply to another.  Statistics gatherers need to remember that.

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