Preventing College Alcoholism Starts at Home

Wine Drop by Fabrizio Monti
Wine Drop by Fabrizio Monti

Wine Drop by Fabrizio Monti

It is an unfortunate reality that alcoholism is a big problem for students in college. They are away from the protective influence of their parents for the first time and they spend the majority of their days around other young adults. This could lead to impulsive decisions that involve underage alcohol consumption, and worse yet, an addiction to alcohol. However, this problem can be successfully prevented long before students ever leave for campus.

Parents and students alike should take alcohol abuse issues seriously. In 1998, there were 1,400 deaths on college campuses across the nation related to alcohol, according to a publication released by Colorado State University. By 2009, that number increased to 1,825 students, all between the ages of 18 and 24, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). That is an increase of approximately 23 percent in a little more than ten years. In addition, other grave consequences can arise due to alcohol abuse, such as injury, assault, and sexual abuse. Yet, parents can take a proactive role in their teens’ lives and keep them from becoming victims of alcohol abuse by following a few simple steps.

Foster Care versus Kinship Care

A new study in June 2008 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine suggests a relationship between behavioural problems and placement when children are removed from their homes because of maltreatment. Researchers examined behavioural difficulties 18 and 36 months after kids¬† had been removed from their homes. They found that the children who were placed with a family member (“kinship care”) soon after being removed from their home had significantly fewer behavioural problems 3 years later.

Although the researchers statistically controlled for many other factors that might also have affected behaviour, it’s tough to draw firm conclusions from the study. Placement in kinship care depended on other family members’ availability and willingness to take in the child; it’s possible that family members were less likely to take in kids with more severe problems, which could also explain the difference.

You can read more here.

Anatomy of Obesity (Episode 137)


Scale-a-week: 5 July 2010 by puuikibeach

Doctors Brian and Giuseppe discuss obesity and its prevention in children and within couples.

  • How big a problem is obesity?
  • What are the factors that predict obesity in children?
  • How should parents or spouses react if they’re concerned about a loved one’s weight?
  • What strategies could be helpful in preventing or addressing obesity?

Listen here:


… or right click here to save the episode for later.

You can also get your free podcast subscription in iTunes. If you use iTunes, you can leave a review!

Leave us a comment, or you can e-mail suggestions or questions to [email protected]. Vote for The Family Anatomy blog at Blogger’s Choice!

Note: Posts on Family Anatomy are for education only, and are not intended to replace professional or medical advice. If you need to talk to someone about family or mental health issues, you can get a referral from your family doctor. Doctors Brian and Giuseppe discussed kids in general in this episode, but every child is unique; your experience may vary from those discussed in this episode.


Invading your teen's privacy leads to conflict: Is that a good thing? teenagers can be a tough job. Let’s face it, BEING a teenager can also be tough! The relationship between parents and teens can change drastically as the adolescents get older – although this change usually isn’t negative, it isn’t always easy to find rules and expectations that are agreeable to both parents and teens. Parents often fear that their teens will make poor decisions if they’re given too much independence, but youth need to be allowed to make those decisions in order to develop their skills and become adults. Parents walk a tightrope between loosening their rules and protecting their kids. This sometimes leads to a dilemma: Should a parent invade their teen’s privacy or respect it? You might get different answers depending on whether you ask the parent or the teen!

A study published in the August issue of the Journal of Family Psychology looked at how parents and teenagers “coordinate” privacy, and the relationship between privacy violations and conflict. Three hundred and nine two-parent families with children between 11 and 15 years of age were followed for three years. The youth provided information about perceived privacy violations by their parents, and both the youth and the parents completed questionnaires rating adolescent-parent conflict.

The findings indicated that the link between the perception of invasions of privacy and conflict between teens and parents goes both ways. Parents in families with more conflict were more likely to be seen by their teens as invasive, and privacy violations were linked to increased conflict over time in a negative cycle. Not too surprising, right? What surprised me was that the researchers interpreted invasion of privacy and the resulting conflict as a good thing! Their reasoning was that arguments about privacy put parents’ and teens’ expectations about privacy on the table for negotiation. By bringing attention to differing expectations, conflict might lead to communication and problem-solving.

I don’t buy it.