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CWA: Study Shows Parents Are Not Aware of Teen Risks

Contact: Stacey Holliday, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 126


WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- Concerned Women for America (CWA) draws attention to an annual back-to-school survey about risky teen behavior released by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.  The random-sample national survey of over 1,000 teens and nearly 600 parents is a warning to parents. The survey suggests that parents are the last to know when their teens are involved in drug and alcohol abuse. At least a third of teens go to parties at homes where alcohol and drugs are used even though parents are present. CWA urges parents to become aware of the risks facing their teenagers and take action to protect them.


Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, said, “There are simple things that parents can do to protect their children.  The most important is for the mother and father to be married to each other. Lots of people think that household structure is irrelevant; but experts agree that every other household arrangement is inferior to the married-parents family when it comes to children’s well-being.  Any other household arrangement puts the kids at risk.”


“It’s a shame,” said Crouse, “that celebrities and others think that their money and material benefits will make up for the lack of parental commitment to each other and to the kids.”


Crouse added, “A major message coming out of the CASA study is that parents sometimes are blind to what is going on in their teens’ lives.  More than twice as many teens have a problem with drugs and alcohol than parents realize.” 


According to the CASA survey, only 12 percent of parents see their kids having a problem with drugs and alcohol; 27 percent of kids say it is a big deal for them.  Fully 80 percent of parents believe that their kids avoid parties involving alcohol and drugs, yet 50 percent of teens admit to going to such parties.


Other important information from the survey:

  • The early teenage years -- ages 13-14 -- are especially vulnerable ones; that’s when teens tend to start experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

  • Kids who eat dinner with their family and attend church services are at less risk.

  • Kids who get a good night of sleep--more than eight hours each night--are at less risk.

  • The gender gap has closed--girls’ substance abuse risk is equal to boys’.


Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.