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.