Excessive alcohol consumption continues to be a priority for policy makers across Europe. Demos has conducted research into the issue in the UK context, exploring the role that parenting can have on reducing the next generation’s likelihood of drinking excessively. Based on analysis of longitudinal data, we found that parenting style and parental consumption correlated with more harmful drinking behaviours in the next generation. Following these findings, we wanted to explore whether the relationship between parenting and drinking was specific – or especially strong – in the UK, or whether it existed in other countries. The research presented in this report is a first step in trying to answer this question, taking Romania as our case study.

Drawing on interviews of families with problems with alcohol and an original survey of the Romanian public, this report develops a picture of alcohol consumption and parenting style in Romania, and the possible impact that parenting style has on drinking behaviour. It finds that parents who drink more are more likely to have children who drink more, and that parents who adopt an ‘authoritarian’ style to parenting – with high levels of discipline, but low levels of love and affection – are more likely to have children who are prone to problematic drinking in later life.

The report has a number of recommendations for government, industry and the NGO sector. It argues that as a first step, the Romanian government should adopt a national alcohol strategy, to highlight key statistics, and outline its priorities and responsibilities. It also emphasises the importance of targeted interventions – both those focused on the early years and directed at the family – to help support families struggling with alcohol misuse and to prevent the next generation from suffering the same problems.

This report is also available in Romanian. Download it here.