If a parent drinks a child will drink more

Sept. 20, 2011 at 7:10 PM
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GOTHENBURG, Sweden, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Children of a parent who abuses alcohol have an increased risk of consuming more alcohol after stressful situations, researchers in Sweden found.

Anna Soderpalm Gordh of Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said the study involved 58 healthy people who were divided into two groups based on whether a study participant came from a family with a drinking problem. Both groups were randomly assigned to two experimental situations -- one of which was more stressful and involved solving mathematical problems under timed conditions in public.

In an experimental consumption test afterward, the groups were allowed to drink alcohol or a placebo.

"The results show that people with parents who have a history of alcohol abuse drink more than others when exposed to stress," Soderpalm Gordh said in a statement. "If alcohol relaxes you when you're stressed, then you should try to find other ways of calming yourself down -- relaxation exercises, for example."

People who consume large quantities of alcohol every time they drink run a higher risk of developing a dependency in the future, Soderpalm Gordh said.

The findings were published in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior.

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