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D. Hands-on Parenting Helps Prevent Risky Behavior

Narrator: This is Science Today. New research suggests that teens are less likely to smoke, drink or do drugs if they think their parents disapprove of such activities. Psychiatrist Lynn Ponton of the University of California, San Francisco, who has written a book on the subject of teen risk-taking, says because parents play such a huge role in their teens' lives, they should really watch their own behavior.

Ponton: Our teens really model after how we take our risk. Whether we wear a seatbelt, whether or not we're still smoking cigarettes. So, I think parents can look at their own risk taking and really think about how to revamp that or at least, how to talk with their teen about it.

Narrator: Ponton says if teens are still going the risky route, parents should learn how to communicate effectively.

Ponton: The lecture status or even the discussion doesn't always work. I think hanging out with them after school, lying on the couch or the floor together, driving them if that's your choice and riding around with them. Those are circumstances where teens give a lot of information.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.