Sep. 6 (Xinhuanet)-- Children as young as 2 years old are more likely to be
influenced by their parents' smoking and drinking habits, a novel study has
Children as young as 2 years old
are more likely to be influenced by their parents' smoking and drinking
habits, a novel study has
In a study of 2- to 6-year-olds, children pretending
to "shop" for groceries for a hungry doll were four times more likely to
choose cigarettes if their parents smoked and three times more likely to pick
wine or beer if their parents drank at least once a month.
Of the 120 children in the study, 28 percent bought
cigarettes and 62 percent purchased alcohol among the average of 17 products
A 4-year-old girl chose Barbie-sized tobacco in the
pretend store and said: "I need this for my man. A man needs cigarettes."
Parents who watched from behind a one-way mirror were
surprised by their children's choices, said study co-author Madeline Dalton of
Dartmouth Medical School.
"It's a very humbling experience to be a parent and
see your children mimic your behaviors," she said.
The study suggests that prevention efforts should
target younger children, Dalton said. It was published Monday in the September
issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Researchers observing the children's play found that
the ones who watched PG-13 or R-rated movies also were more likely to choose
alcohol for Barbie.
Parents should be careful about the movies their
children watch, said Craig Anderson, who studies media violence at Iowa State
University. "Kids are basically little learning machines. Whatever the content
is in front of them, they're going to pick it up," Anderson said.Enditem