Early drinking correlated with R-rated movies

LOS ANGELES The author of the study said the results highlight how important it is for parents to monitor their children's movie watching.

/*Dr. James D. Sargent*/, a pediatrics professor at /*Dartmouth Medical School*/, said depictions of alcohol consumption appear in about 90 percent of R-rated movies.

Researchers questioned nearly 3,600 middle school children in New England and followed up about two years later. Nearly a quarter of children who said they watched R-rated movies all the time tried alcohol without their parents knowing.

Researchers say among those students who were never allowed to watch R-rated movies, only 3 percent said they'd started drinking alcohol, compared with 19 percent, who were sometimes allowed to watch R-rated movies.

Researchers say the new findings add to previous studies that linked exposure to R-rated movies and shows with adult content to early drinking, early smoking, sex at a young age and violent behavior.

Sargent said previous studies have suggested that children who watch R-rated movies become prone to "sensation seeking" and "risk taking."

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