Researchers found that during high school the parents of teenagers’ friends can have as much effect on the teens’ substance use as their own parents.

Researchers at the Prevention Research Center explained that if friends’ parents are aliened with child’s parents there’s a synergistic effect. If friends’ parents are also consistent and aware of child’s whereabouts, then children are less likely to use substances.

But if friends’ parents are inconsistent and are not aware and parents are consistent, then child is still more likely to use alcohol or substances. The differences here are due to friends’ parents.

This is the first study where parenting at the peer level proved to have a concrete and statistically significant impact on child outcomes.

Researchers said, “The peer context is a very powerful influence. We’ve found in other studies that the peer aspect can overwhelm your upbringing.” I think that it empowers parents to know that not only can they have an influence on their own children, but they can also have a positive influence on their children’s friends as well.

By Ammara Hashmi

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