Culture 3 min read

Marijuana-Using Parents Have Tendency to Become Strict Disciplinarians

A new study suggests that marijuana-using parents tend to become strict disciplinarians, reacting faster and more often to their children's misbehavior.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

You would think that marijuana-using parents would be more relaxed, at least when it comes to disciplining children. But, a recent study suggests that the reverse may be the case.

According to a study of California parents, current marijuana users administered more discipline practices to their children than non-users. This ranges from a simple time-out to the more serious physical abuse.

Marijuana is becoming more acceptable in the United States. As a result, parents are getting more comfortable with using it, even in front of their children.

A 2017 survey from Yahoo news revealed that 47 percent of parents who use marijuana have consumed it in front of their adult children, shared it with them, or done both. Although some users claim that the drug makes them a better and more relaxed parents, this may not be the case.

According to the researchers, cannabis users — who are also alcohol users 92 percent of the time — seem to control their kids more than non-users.

Co-author of the study and professor of social work at the Ohio State University, Bridget Freisthler said:

“It appears that users may be quicker than other parents to react to minor misbehavior.”

Why – you ask?

The researchers hypothesized that it could be because pot-smoking parents don’t want their kids to ruin their buzz.

Collecting the Marijuana-Using Parents Sample

For the study, the researchers randomly selected and interviewed 3,023 California marijuana-using parents with children aged 12 years or younger. Then, they collected the participant’s drug use history.

These include their recent and past use of alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other drugs. The parents also had to state the frequency and type of discipline they administered to their kids, whether it’s non-violent, corporal punishment or outright physical abuse.

Finally, the researchers accounted for a variety of factors that could impact discipline — for example, child and parents demographics, depression, and parental stress.

More Substance Means More Discipline

Compared with non-users, the findings show that parents who used marijuana in the past year disciplined their children more often. Furthermore, they used a more extensive range of discipline option.

Parents that used the drug in the past — years before the research — also administered more discipline than non-users. The same was valid for alcohol users in both cases.

The researcher also noted that the type and frequency of discipline increase with the amount of substance. In other words, parents who use the most drugs tend to physically abuse their children 1.45 times than those who use only one drug.

Freisthler noted:

“The use of several different kinds of substances certainly is a warning sign that parents may be relying more heavily on discipline to control their children.”

Marijuana is legal in more states now. But, the study emphasizes the need for caution when using.

“Marijuana use is not risk-free. It affects a lot of behaviors, including parenting,” said the researcher.

Read More: Researchers Reveal Why Marijuana Has Different Effects on People

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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