Wed, Aug 23, 2017 | updated 10:02 AM IST

Absence of parents during early childhood linked to smoking, drinking before teens

Updated: Oct 11, 2016 14:24 IST      
Absence of parents during early childhood linked to smoking, drinking before teens
Washington D.C. [India], Oct. 11 (ANI): Parental absence in early childhood due to death or relationship break-down is linked to a heightened risk of starting to smoke and drink alcohol before the child reaches his teens, suggests a recent research.

Earlier researches suggest that childhood adversities are associated with poorer mental and physical health in adulthood and the 'loss' of a parent has been linked to a heightened risk of smoking and drinking in adolescence and later life.

But what is not clear is whether parental absence is a risk factor for an even earlier start on 'risky' health behaviours or what the potential impact might be of the child's sex, the age at which they experienced their loss or which parent they lost.

The researchers, therefore, drew on data from the UK Millennium Cohort Study, which has been tracking the health of almost 19,000 children born between 2000 and 2002, in regular surveys.

The first of these was carried out 9 months after birth with subsequent surveys when the children were 3, 5, 7 and 11 years old.

At the age of 11 the children were also asked whether they had ever smoked or drunk alcohol, and whether they had ever consumed enough to feel drunk.

Parental absence was defined as the 'loss' of a biological parent before the child was 7 years old.

In all, the researchers had complete data for almost 11,000 children, more than one in four of whom had experienced the 'loss' of a parent by the age of 7.

Most children had not smoked by the age of 11, although among those that had, this behaviour was more likely among the boys: 3.6 percent versus 1.9 percent of the girls.

Drinking alcohol was more common, with boys once again more likely to have tried it: around 1 in 7 of them (almost 15 percent) and around 1 in 10 of the girls (10.6 percent) said they had ever drunk alcohol.

Of those that had tried alcohol, around twice as many of the boys--nearly 12 percent compared with 6.6 percent of the girls-- were likely to say that they had consumed enough to feel drunk.

Analysis of the data showed that children who had experienced parental absence before the age of 7 were more than twice as likely to have taken up smoking and 46 percent more likely to have started drinking alcohol by the age of 11.

The findings held true even after taking account of potentially influential factors, such as educational attainment of the parent(s); mother's ethnicity; mother's age at parenthood; smoking during pregnancy; length of pregnancy and birth weight.

Similarly, the child's sex, the age at which they first experienced parental absence, or which parent was missing, had no bearing on the findings.

However, while children who had lost a parent through death were less likely to have drunk alcohol by the age of 11, those that did, were more than 12 times as likely to get drunk than were children whose parent was absent for other reasons.

Researchers said, "Associations between parental absence and early smoking and alcohol consumption may operate through a range of mechanisms, such as reduced parental supervision, self-medication, and adoption of less healthy coping mechanisms."

"For instance, nicotine in particular demonstrates psychoactive properties and may have benefits for mood regulation," they added.

This is an observational study so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect.

And, as with all long term studies, missing data are a potential source of bias. Furthermore, no information was included on parental absence between the ages of 7 and 11, which may have influenced behaviour.

Their findings echo those of other studies in this area, emphasizing that health behaviors established in early life are known to set patterns for later life.

The study was published in Archives of Disease in Childhood journal. (ANI)

Poland to Host Indian Film Festival

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 20:45 IST     

Warsaw [Poland], Aug.22 (ANI-Businesswire India): Film festivals have become a widespread phenomenon across the globe over the last fifty years as major events that go on to establish the reputation of the cities in which they are organised. The Indian Film Festival will be organised in Poland in October 2017 and what better way to celebrate 70 Glorious years of India's Independence. A Curtain Raiser Press Conference was organised to officially announce the first ever Indian Film Festival in Poland to be organised in Warsaw & Krakow from 7th - 10th October 2017.

Full Story >>

Delhi celebrate its first ever beer month

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 16:37 IST     

New Delhi [India] August 22 (ANI): India's National Capital Region celebrates its first ever beer month.

Full Story >>

Are all highly reviewed products 'really' good?

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 16:34 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): From buying a pen to purchasing a car, people these days depend on the reviews and ratings on Internet to help them select.

Full Story >>

How can mothers better understand their babies

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 13:03 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): Aimed at bringing more understanding to the relationship between mothers and babies, a recent study suggests the security of the relationship infants establish with their mothers is important for children's development.

Full Story >>

Why is it important to have 'good' friends in school?

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 12:02 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], August 22 (ANI): Making friends is critical for children to enjoy school and learning. Not just this, a new study suggests that the types of peer relationships youth make in high school matter for mental health through young adulthood.

Full Story >>

Pharrell Williams launches Adidas Tennis collection

Updated: Aug 22, 2017 11:30 IST     

London [UK], August 22 (ANI): Musician Pharrell Williams has expanded his ever-expanding collaboration with Adidas.

Full Story >>

Bollywood actress Adah Sharma attends 'Khwaish'

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 15:08 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 21 (ANI): Actress Adah Sharma and Mrs. Earth Priyanka Khurana Goyal recently graced a fashion and lifestyle exhibition 'Khwaish' at The Grand in Vasant Kunj.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Aug 21 (ANI): Are you amongst those who leave no stone un-turned when it comes to flavours? Specially when it comes to Mughlai cuisine?

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 21 (ANI): Bollywood beauties Kriti Sanon, Bhumi Pednekar, Tapsee Pannu, Aditi Rao Hydari, Dia Mirza glided down the runway with elan at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2017 on Day five.

Full Story >>

LFW 2017: Jacqueline, Aditya turn muses for Manish Malhotra

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 09:40 IST     

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 21 (ANI): Bollywood stars Jacqueline Fernandez and Aditya Roy Kapur gave Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 a grand closing as they turned showstoppers for ace designer Manish Malhotra.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 21 (ANI): Think your better half spends too much money? You may be headed for splitsville.

Full Story >>

Giving elite athletes a 'gutsy' edge

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 08:00 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 21 (ANI): According to a recent study, the secret to an athlete's success lies in the phrase "no guts, no glory."

Full Story >>

This app can tell if your partner is cheating on you

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 13:49 IST     

London [UK], August 20 (ANI): In the times when everything is digital, even finding a date can be just as easy finding a recipe of your favourite dish.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 20 (ANI): Bollywood stars were in full form on Day four of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 with Nargis Fakhri, Vaani Kapoor and Saiyami Kher gracefully sashaying down the runway.

Full Story >>

Daily weighing can help to shed those extra pounds: Study

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 07:30 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 20 (ANI): Attention people! Here's another reason for you to lose weight even faster: Weighing yourself everyday may help you to shed those extra pounds, suggests a study.

Full Story >>

Men, take care of your skin with these tips!

Updated: Aug 20, 2017 07:28 IST     

New Delhi [India], Aug.20 (ANI): Skin care regime nowadays is not just a woman's prerogative.

Full Story >>

LFW 2017: Designers bring variety of fashion nuances on Day 4

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 18:58 IST     

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [Mumbai], August 19 (ANI): Making a strong fashion statement with his new colour forecast, Ujjawal Dubey for his label Antar Agni at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/festive 2017 unveiled his 'Disobedient' collection for men's and women's wear.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 19 (ANI): The excitement of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 saw a continued stir on Day Four at Johnnie Walker - The Journey show.

Full Story >>

Eat according to blood type to keep yourself healthy

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 14:33 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 19 (ANI): Various studies indicate that blood group is the main genetic factor that affects the health and well-being to a large extent.

Full Story >>

Celebrate World Photo Day on Facebook

Updated: Aug 19, 2017 14:23 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 19 (ANI): To commemorate World Photo Day- a moment dedicated to celebrating and inspiring the art of photography- Facebook has reminded its users how to use the platform to be part of the global event.

Full Story >>