As the primary agent of socialization for their children, parents are expected to educate their children about healthy, safe behavior and about obeying the law. But what if the parents themselves occasionally use drugs? This study examines the differences between the attitudes of parents who do not use drugs and those who use cannabis or other drugs toward drug use by their children, and the parents’ tendency to encourage or prevent it. The study was conducted using a quantitative research questionnaire completed by 626 parents in Israel, and found that parents’ attitudes toward their children’s drug use mediate the effect of their use on their tendency to encourage or prevent their children from using drugs. The findings corroborate theories that examine the relationship between attitudes and behavior and contribute to understanding the processes of conveying messages that encourage or reduce drug use. They can also guide the design of intervention programs for parents, at a time when there is an increasing perception of substance use as normative.
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