Adolescents' perceptions of parenting practices with respect to substance abuse.
Substance use among adolescents in South Africa is a growing concern. While a growing body of research is outlining the ability of parents to influence and moderate the uptake of risk behaviours, limited literature is available in South Africa on the links between parenting practices and substance use. The present study explored adolescents’ perceptions of parenting practices with respect to their substance use behaviours. Eight focus group discussions were conducted with grade 8 and 9 school-going learners from four purposively selected public high schools in the eThekwini region of KwaZulu-Natal. The discussions were informed by constructions of the Integrated Model of Change (I-Change Model) and appropriate literature. Data was analysed thematically. This study provides further evidence that parenting behaviours can influence adolescent behaviour. The findings suggest that specific parenting practices pertaining to parent-child communication, parental support, warmth, and monitoring can have an influence on adolescent alcohol and tobacco use. Negative parenting may lead to disruptive behaviour, vulnerability to peer pressure and subsequent substance use. It is recommended that early intervention and prevention programs for substance use include aspects of parenting practices that influence adolescent substance use.