Family matters: Why two-parent families are better for teens

  • IANS, New York
  • Updated: Sep 10, 2014 19:37 IST

Teenagers who live with single parents are more likely to use alcohol and marijuana than those who live with two college-educated parents, says a study.

Teenagers living with only their mother are 54% more likely to use alcohol and if they live only with their father, they are 58% more likely to smoke, the findings showed.

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"Our study should re-emphasise the direction for practice and policy, for example, examining the elements in the family structure that are deemed protective and can enhance the well-being of children," said Eusebius Small, an assistant professor from the University of Texas at Arlington in the US.

For the study, the researcher analysed data encompassing 14,268 teenagers to determine the impact of family structure and parental education on adolescent substance use.

Also read: Time with parents key to teens' well being

"Family structure and parental education had a more substantial influence on the well-being of teenagers than other factors such as gender, age or where the teen lived," Small concluded.

The study appeared in the journal Social Work in Public Health.

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