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Strict Parenting Can Curb Teen Drug Abuse

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Researchers say strict parenting can curb teen drug abuse

WASHINGTON - Parents who impose strict rules on their teenagers have a better chance of raising drug-free children, but most set few rules or none at all, a research center said Wednesday.

Sixty-one percent of 12- to 17 -year-olds are at risk of abusing cigarettes, alcohol or.

drugs, says a study by the Na­tional Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. The study found that teenagers living in "hands-off" house! holds were twice as likely to abuse drugs as the average teenager, and teenagers with absentee parents were four times as likely to abuse sub­stances as children in highly structured, "hands-on" homes.

"Mothers and fathers who are parents rather than pals can greatly reduce the risk," said Joseph Califano, chair­man of the Columbia Univer­sity-based center. Results were based on telephone in­terviews with 1,000 youth ages 12 to 17.

"Hands-on" parents consis­tently took actions that in­cluded turning off the TV dur­ing dinner; banning music with offensive lyrics; finding out where their children were after school; imposing cur­fews; assigning regular chores; and eating dinner with their children at least six nights a week.

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