Do parents want to change alcohol legislations to protect their children?
Officially, in the majority of European countries people get the rights and duties of adults, including the legal permission to drink alcohol, at 18 years of age. . The question is whether parents of growing up children think that they are mature enough to drink alcohol?
In 2017, a representative sample of CAPI interviews was carried out: 400 with adolescents of 15 and 17 years of age and 400 with their parents. The questions concerned i.a.: parental attitudes toward national legislations regarding alcohol and young people, parent-child relationships, parental countenance alcohol use by their children.
The tightening up of regulations to protect children from alcohol related harm is supported by 61% of parents. Their motives include: too law legal drinking age(29% of parents), high level of social consent for drinking by youngsters (28%), need for stricter penalties for selling alcohol to minors (31%). Those who are satisfied with the present law (39%) argue that more education instead of law enforcement is needed and, in spite of legislations, final responsibility is always on parents. Logistic regression analysis indicated that more willing to change alcohol legislations are parents who think that alcohol legal drinking age should be higher than 18, who give low or high emotional support for their children (in contrast to moderate level of support). The relationship of emotional support of a child and attitude toward legal measures is statistically significant among parents of 15 year old, while among parents of older adolescents (17 years of age) acceptance for tightened regulations is associated with firm, negative attitude toward alcohol use by a child.
However majority of parents would like to change legislations regarding alcohol use by minors, they rather do not support any of the concrete solutions proposed in questionnaire like increasing legal drinking age or stricter penalties for selling alcohol to minors. It may suggest that parents advocate rather for the enforcement of existing provisions than tightening up of regulations. But to confirm this conclusion more information (researches) is needed.