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Kids mimic parents' smoking, drinking behaviors: study
www.chinaview.cn 2005-09-06 08:46:46

Children as young as 2 years old are more likely to be influenced by their parents' smoking and drinking habits, a novel study has shown.
Children as young as 2 years old are more likely to be influenced by their parents' smoking and drinking habits, a novel study has shown.
    BEIJING, 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 shown.

    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 chosen.

    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

(Agencies)

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