Children Who Watch R-rated Movies More Likely to Drink Alcohol

If your kids are going out to see R-rated movies, they might also be prone to drinking alcohol, according to a study from Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, N.H.

Researchers conducted a study of more 2,400 children, ages 10 to 14-years-old, whose parents allowed them to view R-rated movies frequently. Almost a quarter of the children studied confessed to having tried alcohol behind their parents back.

Inversely, the study showed that only 3 percent of the students in the trial who were forbidden to watch R-rated movies had ever tried a drink.

James Sargent, co-author of the study and a professor at Dartmouth, said the study had a controlled parenting style and still showed that “the movie effect is over-and-above that [parenting] effect.”

The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, began with paper surveys and followed up with the participants 13-26 months later with an anonymous telephone survey.

"The fact that they found an effect from the movies and they found an effect at that young age is doubly significant because a lot of research shows the younger kids use (alcohol), the greater the risk," said David Walsh, founder of the non-profit National Institute on Media and the Family.

Click here to read more from Dartmouth Medical School.