As a result of lack of parental presence, children may adopt habits of smoking and consuming alcohol at a very tender age or even before they reach teenage.
According to a study conducted by University College London based on the data from UK Millennium Cohort Study, there are associations between smoking, alcohol consumption and reduced parental supervision.
The study was conducted on children aged three, five, seven and eleven.
The data showed that children who had experienced parental absence before the age of seven were more than twice as likely to have taken up smoking and 46 per cent more likely to have started drinking alcohol by the age of 11.
The findings were published online in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.