How much influence do parents have on their kids? More than some might think. Your education level can reflect on your kid’s education. Just the same your past drug usage could also determine whether or not your son or daughter uses drugs. On the opposite end of things, studies have found that children with two college educated parents have less of a chance of drinking or smoking marijuana.
Early alcohol and drug abuse in kids is a product of several factors including economic, social, emotional and behavioral issues. For example, a child who is raised with a parent who is abusive towards them has a higher risk of developing a drug or alcohol problem. This child would also have a higher risk of violence, depression and risky sexual activity.
A published study by the University of Texas in Arlington has found that those high school kids who live with two college educated parents are less likely to drink alcohol or smoke marijuana than those teens who live with a single parent. Teens living with only their mother are 54 percent more likely to drink alcohol while teens who are living only with their father are 58 percent more likely to smoke.
The study included the analysis of the data of 14, 268 teenagers from 8th, 10th and 12th grade by Eusebius Small, an assistant professor in the UT Arlington School of Social Work, to determine the impact of family structure and parental education on adolescent substance use. The teens were surveyed about their alcohol use, tobacco use, marijuana use, family structure, race and the level of their parents’ education. The analysis of this data showed that family structure and parental education actually have a larger influence on the teen’s well-being than other factors such as gender, age or where the teen is living.
This means addressing these environmental factors along with addressed individual issues, parents may be able to reduce substance use among adolescents and teens. When a parent asks themselves if it is worth it to pursue their education, the answer should be yes. Studies like these show just how big of an example and an influence a parent is on their child, down to how far they went with their education.
Written by Brianna Gibbons, Sovereign Health Group writer