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American University researcher awarded $2.4 million NIH grant
Date:3/13/2013

How well can two questions identify underage drinking? Jonathan Tubman, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Research and a developmental psychologist, was recently awarded a $2.4 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (NIAAA) part of the National Institutes of Health, to investigate the validity of a two-question screener designed to promote early identification of and intervention with alcohol use problems among children and teenagers.

Tubman and his colleague Seth J. Schwartz, an associate professor at the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, are the principal investigators.

The screener at the center of Tubman's and Schwartz's study was developed as part of a guide developed by the NIAAA in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics. The guide, released in 2011 and based on extensive clinical research and analyses of underage drinking data, centers on two questions that help child health care practitioners, such as pediatricians, quickly identify children and teens at risk for developing drinking problems.

The questions differ slightly in wording and order, depending on whether they are posed to elementary (ages 9-11), middle (ages 11-14), or high school students (ages 14-18), but in each scenario, the questions address how much alcohol the student has consumed during the past year and how much alcohol the student's friends have consumed during the past year. Risk is determined by a combination of the student's age and the quantity/frequency of alcohol consumption by the student and or the student's friends.

By asking these two questions, child health care practitioners are looking for developmentally abnormal behaviors with regard to alcohol consumption.

"If a high school student says he or she has consumed one drink during the past month, while it may not be legal, it is developmentally normal," Tubman said. "But if an elementary s
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Contact: Maggie Barrett
barrett@american.edu
202-885-5951
American University
Source:Eurekalert  

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American University researcher awarded $2.4 million NIH grant
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