Friday, December 21, 2007

Influences on adolescent drinking

Alcohol misuse among adolescents is a substantial problem throughout the Western world and has been linked to a wide range of problems such as school problems and aggression, alcohol-related injuries and deaths, suicidal ideation and even impaired brain development. There have been various studies examining the links between drinking by adolescents' parents, siblings and within their peer group and adolescent drinking. Most of the research has been inconclusive as far as the influence of parents' drinking is concerned but there seems to be a definite link between peer-group drinking and adolescent drinking. A study of 3,760 twins in Holland has confirmed this picture, showing that in each of the three age groups studied - 12-15, 16-20 and 21-25 - regular drinking of same-sex co-twins and friends posed the highest risk for regular drinking. As adolescents got older they became less susceptible to the influence of their siblings and peer groups. For all age groups regular drinking by fathers and mothers posed the lowest risk.

Scholte, Ron H. J. ... [et al] - Relative risks of adolescent and young adult alcohol use : the role of drinking fathers, mothers, siblings, and friends Addictive Behaviors 33(2008), 1-14

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