Video: children ‘scared’ by adult drinking, study finds

Nearly a third of UK children feel scared when they see adults drinking, a survey for the BBC’s children’s TV programme Newsround has shown.

The survey found that half of the children questioned had seen their parents drunk at some time.

Watch a clip from the Newsround programme

Over 40 per cent of young people surveyed said they thought adults should not drink in front of children.

Alcohol and its effect on children in the home is discussed in a special Newsround programme which was broadcast earlier this week. It can be viewed in full here until 18 July.


Damian Kavanagh, Controller of Children’s BBC said: “There has been much discussion about levels of drinking but the social impact is rarely explored from a child’s point of view.

“Alcohol is present in the lives of most of our audience in one way or another, yet it is something they may not feel confident talking about.”

When given a list of words to describe how they felt when they saw adults drinking, almost half the children surveyed said they were not bothered. But 30 per cent said it made them feel scared.


Almost three-quarters of the children surveyed, who were all aged between ten and 14, said their parents drink alcohol.

The survey also showed that 60 per cent of all children interviewed said they will drink when they are older.

Rosemary Duff from Childwise, the organisation which carried out the research, pointed to the responses from girls aged over eleven who were asked why adults drank until they lost control and vomited.

Binge drinking

She said several responded that it was “part of a good night out”.

“It’s going to make it very very difficult to tackle the culture of binge-drinking, it’s so embedded in their idea of what’s a good night out,” she said.

The survey consisted of 1,234 young people across the UK with fieldwork taking place from 26 April to 25 May this year.


In March a consortium of children’s charities in Scotland backed the Scottish Government’s plans for minimum pricing on alcohol.

The group urged the Government to put “children’s interests at the heart of alcohol policy”.

Last month MSPs voted against the Scottish Government’s minimum pricing plans but despite this the Government says it will press ahead.

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