amount of warmth (Smith & Hall, 2008). Smith and Hall conducted a study in 2008 with 617 adolescents to find a correlation between their substance abuse and parenting style. The adolescents were questioned about alcohol, marijuana, crack/cocaine, and heroin. Surveys were utilized for this study. The neglectful parenting style, which researchers defined as showing the least amount of affection and effort spent disciplining your child, was found to lead to the highest rates of alcohol and substance abuse in these adolescents. This study also surveyed the teens about days they had problems from the alcohol or substance abuse.
The neglectful-permissive parenting style led to more days they had problems from their alcohol or substance abuse. A study with similar results was conducted in 2008 by Latendresse et al. This study also utilized surveys from 4,731 adolescents with the aim of finding correlations between adolescent alcohol use and parenting mechanisms and parent’s alcohol use. The results of this study, like the previous study, showed a negative relationship between the amount of alcohol use and amount of discipline and parental monitoring.
These studies are consistent with other research that shows the permissive parenting style to lead to some of the highest rates of alcohol and substance abuse in adolescents. Reviewing the literature has shown the authoritarian parenting style, in addition to the permissive style of parenting, to lead to some very high rates of alcohol and substance abuse. Authoritarian parenting is associated with a high level of control and a low level of warmth. The control is primarily given with no logic or reasoning to the child or adolescent, only that mom or dad is always right.
An authoritarian parent does not encourage a verbal give and take with the child (Baumrind, 1971). Laghi et al. conducted a study in 2013 to examine the influence of parenting styles, if any, on alcohol expectancies in teen binge drinking. 1,000 high school students were asked questions about their attitudes toward alcohol and how much they consume alcohol. Different than other studies, their parents completed questionnaires to determine the parenting styles for these adolescents, thus examining the relationship between the adolescents drinking patterns and the parenting styles.
The results of this study showed that the heavy and binge drinkers were the teens who received harsh punishments and inconsistent discipline. The researchers thus made the connection between harsh punishments and improper discipline with alcohol abuse in adolescents. Improper discipline is, in other words, illogical control which is an aspect of authoritarian parenting. This research is consistent with other research that shows an authoritarian parenting style to lead to high rates of alcohol and substance abuse in adolescents.
A study with similar results is the study mentioned above by Latendresse et al. n 2008. Rather than asking the parents about the parenting styles, the adolescents were questioned for this study. The parenting mechanisms were measured by asking the adolescents questions about parental warmth and tension with their parents. There were many items for the adolescents to rate on a 4-point scale about their parents’ parenting practices such as, “parents listen to my opinions”, “parents thank and encourage me”, “parents try to sort it out and discuss it if I’ve behaved badly”, “parents punish me if I do something I’m not supposed to”, and many more.
While the results of this study did show that a permissive-neglectful style of parenting led to high rates of alcohol abuse in adolescents, the study also reported a correlation between high rates of parental control, an authoritarian style of parenting, and adolescent alcohol use, similar to the study above. The authoritative parenting style is the “happy medium” between permissive and authoritarian. The literature on this topic has overwhelmingly shown that this parenting style is correlated with the lowest rates of alcohol and substance abuse in adolescents.
A study in 2008 conducted by Barrett and Turner aimed to find correlations between substance use in adolescents and family structure and explanations for those correlations. 1,760 adolescents between the ages of seventeen and twenty-three were surveved on different elements of their lives, including substance use problems, family structure, family processes, and more. This study defined family processes by asking questions including what parenting style is used, perceived level of familial support, and whether the family approves of the adolescents’ substance abuse.
Indexes were used for each of the items and defined the variables by asking the how much the adolescent feels loved, on the scale, and more. Results from this study indicated that the adolescents who were raised in a non-authoritative household and had the lowest amount of perceived familial support had the highest rates of problematic substance abuse, as defined by the study. Similar studies reported the same findings. In the study conducted by Smith & Hall (2008), the researcher’s hypothesis was supported when the authoritative parenting style was also found to lead to the lowest rates of alcohol and substance abuse in the adolescents.
Some of the literature examined another element of parenting, overprotection. Parental overprotection does not fit into any one of the parenting styles alone, but should be brought to light because the review of literature has shown this element of parenting to lead to high rates of alcohol and substance abuse in adolescents (Visser et al. ; Daire et al. ; Matejevic, Jovanovic, & Lazarevic). Visser et al. conducted a study in 2013 and for the purpose of their research they defined parental overprotection as, “fearfulness and anxiousness for the child’s safety, guilt engendering, and intrusiveness” (p. 7). Matejevic, Jovanovic & Lazarevic also conducted a study, in 2014, with the aim of finding a relationship between parenting style and adolescent substance abuse by picking apart different elements of parenting style, including parental overprotection.
Both of these studies found that parental overprotection led to high rates of alcohol and substance abuse in their samples of adolescents. These studies differed when it came to the element of parental rejection. Visser et al. found no relationship between rejection from parents and alcohol abuse while Matejevic et al. id find a significant relationship. An additional study was reviewed that measured parental overprotection. This study, done in 2012 by Daire et al. , surveyed adolescents about different variables, including parental overprotection, parental care, family structure, and more. The results of this study showed similar results as the ones above in that parental overprotection also led to high rates of alcohol and drug use. This study also showed a negative relationship between age of first use of alcohol and drugs and amount of perceived protection from parents.
Overprotection could lead to rebellion from the adolescent which could be one possibility for these results. A review of the literature has shown another variable in the parent-child relationship to possibly lead to early adolescent substance abuse is communication (Choquet et al. ; Luk et al. ; Matejevic, Jovanovic, & Lazarevic). In a study conducted by Choquet et al. in 2007, researchers looked to find a relationship between parental control and substance abuse in students from sixth to twelfth grade.
Parental control was addressed by asking the adolescents, ‘my parents know where I am on Saturday evenings (always, often, sometimes, seldom, or never)’. The researchers examined this relationship between parental communication with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis. This question can be interpreted in many ways, including parental control, communication, and more. If this question was interpreted as parental control, the results indicated a negative relationship between parental control and adolescent alcohol and substance