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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Study Says Kids Who Watch R-Rated Movies More Likely To Drink


There are many parents in America who do not allow their kids to watch R-Rated movies for a multitude of reasons. Movies that are rated R generally contain things within the story that are probably not suitable for certain age groups. In many cases, R-Rated movies glorify sex, drugs, and violence which could give kids the wrong message about the effects of drugs and alcohol. This is not a new idea either, it is well known that kids will take what they see in movies and try to act out in real life what they have seen. However, there are a number of parents who allow their young ones to watch R-Rated movies because they believe that their parenting can keep children from experimenting with dangerous substances. There is a new study out that states that kids who watch R-Rated movies are more likely to drink, which might help convince parents about the dangers of their children's exposure to drugs and alcohol.

The Dartmouth Medical School's new study shows that kids who watch R-Rated movies are more prone to drink alcohol than their peers who do not watch movies with that rating. In many cases, a movie can be just as influential as a peer, as far as the decision making process goes. Kids want to fit in at all cost and they will be more likely to drink if they have had experiences seeing people having fun drinking with no consequences whatsoever; that, as we know, it simply not the case and alcohol is extremely destructive on the human body - especially a child's.

Researchers found that "Adolescents allowed to watch R-rated movies had higher rates of alcohol initiation":

  • 24.4 percent of middle-school students had used alcohol whose parents allowed them to watch R-rated movies all the time
  • 18.8 percent of middle-school students had used alcohol who were allowed to watch R movies sometimes
  • 12.5 percent of middle-school students had used alcohol who were allowed to watch R-rated films occasionally
  • 2.9 percent of middle-school students had used alcohol whose parents never permitted them to watch such movies
What is the middle ground? If you are going to allow your children to watch movies that glorify drugs and alcohol you, as a parent, are taking a very large risk. It is ever so crucial that parents talk to their kids about the reality of drugs and alcohol. Regardless, of any study, certain parents will continue letting their kids watch whatever they want. That being the case, those parents should spend extra time with their children explaining the realities of life; it may just be easier to not allow kids to watch those types of movies.

The findings were published in the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

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