Parental Absence Increases Chance of Nicotine and Alcohol Use in Children


Parental absence caused by breakdown of a relationship or death can have unfavorable effects on children. The children are most likely to engage in risky behavior.

Key takeaways:

  • The absence of parents can have lifetime affects on their children, including poor mental health and physical health.
  • These children are more likely to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol in adolescence and adulthood compared to their peers.
  • The early onset of habits such as smoking and drinking at a younger age increases the risk of dependence in later life.

Children whose parental absence was due to a parent’s death were less likely to have tried alcohol before the age of 11 than those whose parental absence was for other reasons; however, those who did drink alcohol were more than 12 times as likely to get drunk than children whose parent was absent for other reasons.

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Mike Dilkes ENT is based in Central, North, East and South London. Most of our consultations and treatments are carried out either at The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth or The London Independent Hospital. The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth is one of London's biggest and most prestigious private hospitals.

It is in St Johns's Wood, a leafy area of the west end, just north of Harley Street and Regent's Park. The London Independent Hospital is in Stepney Green, hidden away just behind Mile End Road, just to the East of the City of London. Formally The London Jewish Hospital, it is a purpose built modern building with full facilities, beautifully appointed rooms, state of the art laser systems and, in case anything goes wrong (it really shouldn't), a fully covered Consultant 24 hour ward and Intensive Care presence - the only private hospital in London to have this.