EUGENE, Ore. -- Some parents believe that supplying their kids with alcohol, before legal drinking age, may help to prevent issues like alcohol abuse, harm or dependence.
To explore this assumption, researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre in Australia surveyed a group of parents and adolescents over a six-year period to find out what happens when kids are provided alcohol by parents.
They studied negative effects of alcohol consumption -- binge drinking, experience of alcohol-related harm and alcohol abuse. The researchers found that teenagers who received alcohol from their parents at a young age were actually more likely to obtain it through other means a year later.
They also found that early exposure did not offer any protection against the adverse outcomes from alcohol use.
Based on these findings, the authors suggest that parents should avoid supplying alcohol to their teenagers if they wish to reduce their risk of alcohol-related harm.