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Parents Wield Significant Power to Prevent Teen Substance Abuse

PsychCentral – Rick Nauert PhD

“While many parents may throw their hands up as they attempt to control their teen, new research suggests parents actually can make a difference by being involved in their teens’ life. Adolescence is admittedly a time when many children may consider experimenting with alcohol or drugs. Emerging findings, however, suggest that parents can reduce the risk by maintaining a healthy and open relationship with their children…Thomas Schofield, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Iowa State University, explains…“Parents who haven’t been deliberately investing time during middle and late childhood to build the relationship with their child — one that is very open, with lots of communication, respect, and understanding — all the scaffolding falls away when their child becomes an adolescent,” Schofield said. “The relationship is what the parent made it…””(more)

Can Sleep Problems in Teens Predict Substance Abuse?

The Huffington Post – Dr. Michael J. Breus

“When thinking about the factors that contribute to teenage drinking and drug use, sleep may not make many parents’ lists. But it should. New research investigating the relationship between sleep and substance use among adolescents has found that sleep troubles in teens can predict several problems related to drinking and drug use, including binge drinking and driving while under the influence…Sleep problems among teens, unfortunately, are nothing new. But according to new research, sleep among teenagers in the U.S. has grown worse over the past two decades…Despite their seemingly boundless energy — and propensity to stay up late at night — adolescents need more sleep than adults. The National Sleep Foundation recently updated its recommendations for sleep amounts, and advise that teenagers ages 13-17 should sleep between 8-10 hours a night…What can parents do? Make sleep a priority in the household — for everyone. The elements that make up a strong and healthy sleep routine for teenagers are the same fundamentals of sleep hygiene that are important at any age, including:”(more)