Washington Teen-agers whose parents monitor the television they watch and the CDs they listen to are less likely to smoke, drink or use drugs. Still, seven in 10 youths live in households where parents set few rules or none at all, an anti-drug research center said Wednesday.
"Parents should not look to Washington, or the Statehouse or city hall. They ought to look in the mirror and say, 'What am I doing to fight drugs?"' said Joseph Califano, chairman of the Columbia University-based National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.
Parental neglect "quadruples the likelihood their teens will smoke, drink or use drugs," Califano said Tuesday. The study shows a correlation between teens at low risk of abusing drugs and those who live in highly structured households.
In its sixth annual survey of teen-agers, the center focused for the first time on a parent's role in abetting teens' risky behavior. It also found that 61 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds are at risk of abusing cigarettes, alcohol or drugs.