The Houston Chronicle (2/22, Ortega) reported, “A survey of more than 500 Latino and European American students from the sixth through eighth grades found kids who reported their parents talk about past drug use were less likely to have strong anti-drug use attitudes.” The study, published in the journal of Human Communication Research, “builds on past research that found teens said they’d be less likely to use drugs if their parents talked to them about their personal drug use.” Instead, the opposite effect was found. Instead of discussing past substance use, “researchers suggest parents focus on the negative consequences of abusing drugs and alcohol, how to avoid using, the family rules against substance use and stories about others who have gotten in trouble by using substances.”
HealthDay (2/25, Preidt) reported, “The researchers asked 253 Hispanic and 308 white children in grades six to eight about conversations they had with their parents about alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana,” and the research showed “that children whose parents talked to them about the negative effects of or regret over their use of alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana were less likely to oppose the use of these substances.” Jennifer Kam, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and one of the co-authors, said, “Parents may want to reconsider whether they should talk to their kids about times when they used substances in the past and not volunteer such information.”
The NPR (2/21, Zielinski) “Shots” blog reported that Kam said, “When it comes to addressing their past, parents shouldn’t lie. But use of drugs isn’t something they should volunteer either. … I would encourage parents to clearly tell their kids they don’t approve of using [and that] there are consequences.”
— “Study: Parents talking about their own drug use could be bad for kids,”Francisca Ortega, Houston Chronicle, February 22, 2013.