Are Your Parents to Blame?

by eches1 on November 11, 2013 - 7:08pm

           Over the years, parenting styles have often been ridiculed because not everyone agrees on the best way to successfully raise a child. In fact, Zeinalo et al. (2011) focused their research on the possibility that certain methods of parenting might actually increase the chances of adolescents becoming addicted to drugs. According to their article, parenting technique, attachment method, and self-regulation are interrelated and may have to do with how susceptible an adolescent is to addiction. There are four kinds of parenting that the researchers include in their study: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and neglectful. The researchers distributed several questionnaires to Iranian high school adolescents as well as to their parents. To keep the results valid and as accurate as possible, the questionnaires were carefully and professionally translated and reviewed independently to avoid any discrepancies regarding the language barrier. The major findings revolved around parenting styles and how they influence attachment and self-regulation, thereby affecting addiction susceptibility. In essence, those who parent in an authoritative or permissive manner are most successful in reducing their teenager’s vulnerability to addiction and enhancing their overall psychosocial health. On the contrary, authoritarian and neglectful ways of parenting increase a teen’s likelihood of addiction and an unhealthier psychosocial wellbeing.

            The main problem that the researchers addressed was how certain types of parenting affect a child’s proneness to addiction. Since the conclusions showed that authoritative and permissive styles were more effective than authoritarian and neglectful techniques, the researchers came up with a “solution.” They suggested that if the use of drugs by teenagers is to be reduced at all, then parents should be trained to raise their children using the beneficial parenting methods (Zeinalo et al., 2011). I think that while the goal of decreased drug addiction in teenagers would be good for any society, the suggested solution is very improbable. There isn’t really any way that parents can be forced to raise their children a certain way. Even though this study’s results show that there are better ways to raise a child than others, not everyone will agree and they will continue to raise their children how they see fit. Assuming that every parent agreed to the “training,” there are other reasons why adolescents become addicted to drugs besides the influence of their upbringing. The article even says that, contrary to popular belief, most people who test out addictive substances do not actually become dependent on them (Zeinalo et al., 2011). This would mean that even though poor self-regulation, correlated with authoritarian and neglectful parenting, can increase the risk of drug use (Zeinalo et al., 2011), it does not mean that all of those teenagers would actually become addicted to drugs. This study was interesting because it helped elucidate the importance of a stable childhood and healthy upbringing, but the proposed solution would not be an effective one in many cases.


APA format:

Zeinalo, A., Sharidi, H., Enayati, M., Asgari, P., Pasha, G. (2011). The meditational pathway among parenting styles, attachment styles, and self-regulation     with addiction susceptibility of adolescents. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 16(9), 1105-1120.


Effective parenting is a key to success in a child’s life. Parents cannot prevent every choice that their children make but they can help them in making the right ones. We can’t put all the blame on the parents because today’s society plays a major role in the influence of children. They are introduced to so many new types of danger at younger age. Also society today emphasizes perfection which but a lot of stress on adolescents which affect the choice they make which normally they would never make.

I definitely agree that the way a parent raises their child shapes them into what they become. I personally believe that the most effective way to raise a child would be in the authoritative way. The fact that children are less likely to become addicted to drugs when they are raised in this way did not surprise me because in my opinion, this parenting style creates a well-rounded child. However, I am surprised that permissive parenting also produced the same results as permissive parents lack rules and discipline and essentially do not have high expectations for their children. The results of neglectful and authoritarian styles are expected though. This is because children who are completely neglected run into trouble because it is as if no one cares about them. Children of extremely strict parents tend to rebel. I appreciate your perspective in that you believe that parents cannot be told a uniform way to raise their child. No matter how a child is raised they have the potential to become addicted to drugs either way. It is everyone's free will.

The first thing I noticed was that this study was done in Iran, so there could be a cultural gap between these findings and American teenage drug use that the article fails to get across. Iran's culture is much more conservative than our own, and I think that in general they probably have a lot less teenage drug use than we do, for the teens that do use drugs in Iran I think they must be very secretive about it. So I'm not really sure how well this study applies to American teenagers, but I think you bring up a good point nonetheless. It's definitely true that no one will ever be able to force an American parent to raise their child a certain way. Individualism and the right to decide these types of things are key points in our society, and Americans get angry when those things are limited. Also, I'm sure there are plenty of people who were raised in said poor parenting styles who didn't turn to drug addiction, so parenting style cannot ever take all the blame. Especially more so as teens age, individual choice becomes a huge factor. Everyone knows that drugs hurt your body, and some people choose to ignore this. We may never know for sure to what extent the parents are to blame for this.

Parenting is not the only thing to blame for reason why the child uses drugs. Most the time what the child is exposed to is the reason they begin to do drugs. I have two friends and both of their parents neglected them as parents. My one friend was living on his own before the age of 18. He lived in his parents house, however they were never home. Therefore he dropped out of school and got a landscaping job. His other source of income was selling drugs. His parents did not do a good job raising him, but he also had an older brother who exposed him to drugs at a young age. My other friend lived with her mother and younger brother. Her father was always working and was rarely involved. Her mother was also always working or going out for a drink. She was basically left most of the time to care for herself and her younger brother. However, she was on the high honor roll, student senate, and an athlete. Never once did she use drugs even without the supervision. She was mostly exposed to other, more functioning families and with the responsibility of a younger sibling, she stayed out of trouble.

I think this was a very interesting summary to read seeing as though it covers a very closely monitored and relevant topic in today’s society. I think that parents can not help but wonder if they could have done a better job with their parenting. I have heard countless people saying they do not want to bring up their children the way they were brought up by their parents. I think that parenting is something that requires many things from a parent. I think that the way a child is brought up is one of the most influential things in a child’s life. I think that a child’s up bringing can reduce the chances of a child getting involved with drugs. I do however realize that there are many other factors that come along with drug addictions. Children are being pressured by their friends and others at school and around the neighborhood every day. I therefore understand that the way a child is brought up is not the only solution to stopping drug addictions in adolescents but I truly believe it is one of the best solutions to the problem. Overall, I think that the way a child is brought up will have a huge impact on the child’s decision making in the future. I strongly believe that parenting is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. I also however believe that one should take responsibility of their actions. We therefore shouldn’t blame our parents for our mistakes but should hope to have been brought up well enough not to be making those mistakes in the first place.

This post on the chosen article was very interesting being that it applies to one of the most influential topics in today’s society in the United States. When two individuals become parents, each individual has a set way and specific standard as to how they want their child to be raised. This is usually based on past experiences or even various instances witnessed throughout their life span. But when it is actually time for the person to raise the child, they experiences many different types of circumstances that may set them back or set them a foot forward, whatever instance it may be, the pre intended way the parent wanted to the child to be raised may need be altered. But parenting is not the only thing that can be related to the child’s drug use. The parents may do everything right in their hand book of parenting but when it comes down to the amount and the exact extent in which the child was exposed to the drugs, that can also be a big factor on what the child decides to get involved with.

About the author