The Parents Are to Blame

by eches1 on November 4, 2013 - 11:38pm

            There have been many arguments over what parenting style is considered the best and many arguments over which teens are susceptible to drug addiction, but what has not been heard of that often is that the two could actually be related. Zeinalo et al. (2011) focused their research on finding out how teenagers might become predisposed to addiction and how it could relate to certain psychological constructs. 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. In this study, the researchers distributed several questionnaires to Iranian high school adolescents and even their parents. Although there was a language barrier, they tried to validate the questionnaires by having them carefully and professionally translated and reviewed independently to get the most accurate results. 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.

            One of the main problems 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. Even if 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. 

 

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.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22973379

Comments

This is a very well explained post. I agree to a certain extent that some of the behavior within teens is a result of the parenting of the child. My parents were not permissive at all in parenting me, they were very strict, which led me to know right from wrong. I believe that this could go both ways, perhaps the teen will rebel from the authoritative parenting, leading them to addiction to drugs. It's easy for parents to think that there is a specific way to parent because of the media and the multiple parenting magazines that are out there. Parenting also has a lot to do with how the parents themselves were parented. In some cases, I think that parents will parent their own children the same way they were parented. On the contrary, some adults were parented poorly and have learned from their parents mistakes, which can lead them to parent differently. I knew a boy from high school who was addicted to drugs but came from such a well respected family in my town. The parents were well-known and were a big help within the church, but their son rebelled and became addicted to drugs because of peer pressure in high school. Even though the parents were very strict and permissive in the way they raised all of their children, the boy got involved with a bad crowd. This post made me realize that parenting can either be a huge positive influence on a teens life, or it could be very detrimental as well.

I would agree with you in that although the causes of drug addiction can stem from the way individuals were raised by their parents, there are many other factors that play important roles. I feel that my choices to avoid drugs have a lot to do with the values my parents have instilled in me. I do feel, however, that I could have easily defied my parents' guidance and become involved with drugs, if I felt I wanted to do so. This, to me, shows that there are so many factors that play a role in drug use that one simple factor such as parenting style cannot possibly be the cause of the entire issue.

About the author