The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to improve our understanding of adolescents' perceptions of parental practices relating to their (adolescents') alcohol use. A total of 704 students were conveniently selected and completed self-administered questionnaires. More than half (54%) of the adolescents reported that they had consumed alcohol at some time in their life. Parental marital status was significantly associated with whether adolescents ever consumed alcohol or not (p < 0.05). A large number of mothers/female guardians (66.3%) and fathers/male guardians (69.3%) did not allow alcohol use at home. More mothers (54.6%) and fathers (65.3%) were not aware of their adolescents' alcohol consumption (p < 0.05). Adolescents were more likely to use alcohol when they reported that they had often seen either their father or mother drunk or both (p < 0.05). There were also significant associations between parents' views against alcohol use and their adolescents' alcohol use (p < 0.05). Prevalence of alcohol uptake was quite high among these adolescents. Compulsory parenting programmes and skills development should be practiced by education, health, cultural and religious groups. Parents should be motivated to delay the age at which their children are initiated into alcohol use and be provided with guidance on how to counteract social pressures.
Keywords: South Africa; adolescent; alcohol; consumption; parent.