By ERIC NAGOURNEY
A new study by researchers at Dartmouth reports that teenagers whose parents place no restrictions on their viewing R-rated movies appear much more likely to use tobacco or alcohol. The findings appear in the current issue of Effective Clinical Practice.
The lead author, Dr. Madeline A. Dalton, and her colleagues based their report on a survey of 4,544 students in the fifth through eighth grades in New Hampshire.
R-rated movies are supposed to be restricted for viewers under 17, and 90 percent of the students surveyed were younger than 14. Just 16 percent of the students said they were never allowed to watch R-rated moves, although among this group many reported seeing some anyway. The researchers said they had found a “striking association” between viewing restrictions and low rates of smoking and drinking.
In the survey, a third of the students who had no movie restrictions reported having tried smoking. Only 2 percent of those who were not allowed to watch R-rated movies said they had smoked. Forty-six percent of the first group said they had tried alcohol, but 4 percent in the second had.