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ASWB Practice Question: Parent Attitudes and Child Substance Use

teen smokingA mother tells a social worker she knows her teenager will experiment with drugs at some point because "all kids try marijuana." How is this mother's attitude likely to affect her child's substance use?

Okay, stop here. Do you have a general idea what the answer should look like? It's often helpful to take a second and think it through. In this case: will the mother's permissiveness increase, decrease, or have no impact on her child's substance use? What's your knowledge of the topic say? What's your gut say?

Let's look at the offered answers.

A. This mother's attitude can help her child use substances more responsibly because there is no need to rebel or lie about experimentation.

B. The likelihood that the child will experiment won't be affected, since a parent's attitude about drugs and alcohol has minimal bearing on whether or not a child uses substances.

C. This mother's attitude is apt to be a self-fulfilling prophecy that will increase the likelihood her child will use substances.

D. Since this mother has an open mind about substance use, her attitude may actually decrease the likelihood that her child will experiment with drugs.

If you're a SWTP free practice question completist, this may ring a bell. This is similar to a question we posted once-upon-a-time on the blog.

Which answer most closely matches what you were picturing? Boiled down, the choices are that the mother's attitude will:

A. Decrease the teen's substance use.

B. No impact on the teen's substance use.

C. Increase the teen's substance use.

D. Paradoxically decrease the teen's substance use.

What do you think?

An answer: Not every family is the same, but generally speaking, permissive parenting with fewer limits gets you a kid more at ease with experimentation. Authoritarian parenting engenders resentment and rebellion. The parenting style that's balanced between the two poles, the to-be-aimed-for sweet spot, is called authoritative parenting. Each will impact child substance use-which more-or-less gives you the answer. (It's C, increase).

Note, the question doesn't ask about substance abuse, just use. Mom says it's okay to try a drug, the kid is probably going to try the drug. Just to see. Right?

Or does that conflict with your ideas on the topic? Here are a couple of articles that detail research findings. Good to know.

Hopefully, you'll get to put this to use on the ASWB exam as you work your way to a PASS.

For lots more questions drawn from all parts of the ASWB exam content outline, try our complete exams. Sign up now to get started.

Happy studying and good luck on the exam!

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