Do as I Say or Do as I Do: Parenting, Family Life and Alcohol Consumption Gill Valentine & Myles Gould (University of Leeds) Mark Jayne (University of Manchester)
ResearchAims • to map parents’/carers’ attitudes towards the role of alcohol within the family • to examine families’ own alcohol practices • to understand how these attitudes and practices are transmitted • to examine how processes of transmission vary according to: SES; family structure/support; age/gender, and positioning of children within the family. • to identify the implications of these processes for alcohol harm reduction and family policies.
Methods i) National telephone survey (n=2089) ii) Case study research (n=10) • Family interviews/social network analysis • Individual interviews with parent(s)/carer(s) • Child-centred research • Participant observation • at a family celebration with alcohol • of an ‘everyday’ family evening at home with alcohol • of a family treat involving alcohol
Alcohol an Unremarkable Feature of Family Life Keeping Alcohol in the Home n=2088
Mother: … if she says to me ‘Oh can I have a sip, can I have a little taste?’…If I said to her ‘No, you can’t have that’, course … she would be in the fridge… she would have done it by now if she was denied being able to have some. You know, it’s kind of like well why are you having it? (Family H) Fear Strictness is Counterproductive
Parental Attitudes Parents agrees/strongly agree that it is ok to: • 86.1% [n=1798] Drink in moderation in front of kids • 86% [n=1796] Drink during meal with kids • 17% [n=354] Take children to pubs/bars when parents drinking Children’s Recognition of Hospitality Well when we go on holidays to my Granny’s house, my Mum and my granny have some wine. And sometimes in the holidays when Granny comes here, they have some wine as well. My Mum would usually bring wine to Granny’s as a present (Aileen, aged 8, Family G).
Modelling Openness: tasting alcohol at home 1161 Father: We’ve never hidden the fact that we have a drink and obviously on Saturday night, they’ve seen us drink and stuff. So I want them to be open with us about what they’re doing…and not them hide it behind my back (Father, Family B).
Girl: [identifying a picture of a drink] Cocktails!... Sometimes my Mummy makes them and my Uncle makes them …My Mummy makes a special one for me …Mummy’s has got alcohol in it. I don’t have alcohol in mine (Anne, aged 7, Family B). Father: I would drink beer in the house and I used to have Miranda trained, she used to … when she was little, I had her trained quite well where she would go to the fridge and get me a can of beer (Father, Family H). Boy: …it’s a very strong alcohol…You just go … like that [imitating knocking back a shot]. I’ve actually drank … I’ve actually put some water in there and … my Dad asks me to see how long it takes me to drink four of them (Karl, aged 11, Family B). Imitating Rituals
Kids shouldn’t drink because…: I think there’s probably something bad in it…that children can’t have (Anastasia, 7, Family I) Kids can get drunk quicker (Karl, 11, Family B) Kids…lose control more quickly (James, 9, Family D) [referring to her sister] probably go around snogging boys (Emma, 10, Family C). Children may not be able to stop (Linda, 10, Family A) What Children Know
Girl: [identifying a picture of a drink] It’s beer and it’s called John Smiths... Interviewer: Who drinks that one? Girl: My Daddy. Sometimes my Daddy drinks it Girl: [identifying a picture of a drink]: Smirnoff, my Mummy’s favourite [laughs]… Even she’s got her own Smirnoff glass (Anne, aged 7, Family B). Girl: When we went to Greece my sister, she had about one or two cocktails and when we went back to our …apartment and she went into her bedroom and she just laid down on the bed laughing… Interviewer: So what does alcohol do to you when you drink it? Boy: It makes them a bit less controlled of theirself... Girl: Well they sing stupid songs…my Mum and my friend’s Mum got drunk …They was a bit drunk and they started singing a song about what you do when you need the toilet when you’re working in the garden. Interviewer: Right, so what’s a bit drunk then? Boy: Sort of a bit strange, a bit weird. Yeah, just a bit strange, not theirself… Girl: A bit … like really messy hair (Emma and Tim, aged 10). Witnessing Drinking
Government advice The role of families in advising and guiding young children in relation to alcohol What families are not teaching children The role of education and/or other support services in advising and guiding younger children in relation to alcohol Implications