Most Parents Know Extent of Their Teenager's Alcohol Drinking

Contrary to common belief, most parents accurately perceive whether or not their children are consuming alcoholic beverages. Researchers at the University of Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) interviewed parents and children separately over a six-month reporting period. Eighty-six percent (86%) of parents accurately evaluated the existence of drinking by their teens.

"This study begins to dispel the notion that parents don't know the extent to which their teens are using cigarettes, alcohol and illicit drugs," says lead researcher Dr. Neil B. McGillicuddy.

The research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and is published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse.


  • McGillicuddy, N. B., et al. Agreement between parent and adolescent reports of adolescent substance use. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 2007, 16(4), 59-78.