Family Lives responds to DEMOS’s Feeling The Effects report:

“Family Lives welcomes this timely and well-researched report from Demos which makes clear the effect that alcohol can have on parenting style and the negative impacts that this can have on family outcomes in the here and now and also in the future. We know that parenting style matters; that a parent’s ability to provide authoritative positive parenting is a key driver of good child outcomes.  As such, it is worrying that this new research finds that alcohol misuse can severely affect a parent’s ability to parent and maintain effective boundaries with their children and that as a consequence, these children are much more likely to go on to have their own problems with alcohol misuse and binging.  It is also an important finding from the research that the negative effects of alcohol misuse hold true even after controlling for other indicators of deprivation – that alcohol has severe negative impacts across the social spectrum.  

Family Lives fully supports the policy recommendations contained in the report and would particularly echo the importance of early family-based intervention which focuses on parenting and meeting parents’ different levels of needs through individually tailored approaches.  In addition, we agree with Demos that many parents who may be struggling with levels of drinking are not necessarily those who fit normal profiles of risk and as such statutory bodies should work hard to ensure that these families are identified and get the support that they need quickly.  We encourage the government to listen to this research and use it to inform their Alcohol Strategy.”

Jeremy Todd, Family Lives Chief Executive