Dartmouth Medical School researchers surveyed more than 2,400 children, grades five through eight, who reported that they’d never drunk alcohol. Within 13 to 26 months between the original survey and a follow up interview, three percent of the youngsters said they’d started drinking.
The children were also asked whether their parents allowed them to watch R-rated movies “sometimes” or “all the time.”
Analysis showed a strong link between viewing R-rated movies and underage drinking. This link remained strong even among children who said their parents frequently set and enforced limits.
“We think seeing the adult content actually changes their personality,” Dartmouth pediatrician James D. Sargent, M.D. says. He noted that PG-13 movies, as well as many TV shows, also frequently portray drinking and other adult situations.
- Source: Dartmouth Medical School, 04/26/10.