Navigation Links
Best friends influence when teenagers have first drink
Date:1/28/2013

Chances are the only thing you remember about your first swig of alcohol is how bad the stuff tasted. What you didn't know is the person who gave you that first drink and when you had it says a lot about your predisposition to imbibe later in life.

A national study by a University of Iowa-led team has found that adolescents who get their first drink from a friend are more likely to drink sooner in life, which past studies show makes them more prone to abusing alcohol when they get older. The finding is designed to help specialists predict when adolescents are likely to first consume alcohol, with the aim of heading off problem drinking at the pass.

"When you start drinking, even with kids who come from alcoholic families, they don't get their first drinks from their family," says Samuel Kuperman, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the UI. "They get their first drinks from their friends. They have to be able to get it. If they have friends who have alcohol, then it's easier for them to have that first drink."

The basis for the study, published this month in the journal Pediatrics, is compelling: One-third of eighth graders in the United States report they've tried alcohol, according to a 2011 study of 20,000 teenagers conducted by the University of Michigan and funded by the National Institutes of Health. By 10th grade, more than half say they've had a first drink, and that percentage shoots to 70 percent by their senior year.

"There's something driving kids to drink," explains Kuperman, corresponding author on the paper. "Maybe it's the coolness factor or some mystique about it. So, we're trying to educate kids about the risks associated with drinking and give them alternatives."

Kuperman and his team built their formula from two longstanding measures of adolescent drinking behaviorthe Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics and Alcoholism and the Achenbach Youth Self Report. From those measures of nearly two-dozen variables and a review of the literature, the UI-led team found five to be the most important predictors: two separate measures of disruptive behavior, a family history of alcohol dependence, a measure of poor social skills, and whether most best friends drink alcohol.

The researchers then looked at how the five variables worked in concert. Surprisingly, a best friend who drank and had access to alcohol was the most important predictor. In fact, adolescents whose best friend used alcohol were twice as likely to have a first drink, the researchers found. Moreover, if considered independently of the other variables, teenagers whose best friends drank are three times as likely to begin drinking themselves, the study found, underscoring the sway that friends have in adolescents' drinking behavior.

"Family history doesn't necessarily drive the age of first drink," notes Kuperman, who has studied teen drinking for more than a decade. "It's access. At that age (14 or 15), access trumps all. As they get older, then family history plays a larger role."

The current study drew from a pool of 820 adolescents at six sites across the country. The participants were 14 to 17 years old, with a median age of 15.5, nearly identical to the typical age of an adolescent's first drink found in previous studies. More than eight in 10 respondents came from what the researchers deemed high-risk families, but more than half of the teenagers had no alcohol-dependent parents. Tellingly, among those adolescents who reported having had drunk alcohol, nearly four in ten said their best friends also drank.

The result underscores previous findings that teenagers who have their first drink before 15 years of age are more likely to abuse alcohol or become dependent. It also supports the screening questions selected in the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the American Academy of Pediatrics initiative to identify and help youth at risk for alcohol use, the researchers write.

Kuperman, whose faculty appointment is in the Carver College of Medicine, says he hopes to use the study to delve into the genetics underpinning alcoholism, chiefly tracking adolescents who use alcohol and see whether they have genes that match up with their parents if they also are problem drinkers.

"We're trying to separate out those who experiment with alcohol to those who go on to problematic drinking," he says.


'/>"/>
Contact: Richard Lewis
richard-c-lewis@uiowa.edu
319-384-0012
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Many Who First Misuse Prescription Pills Get Them From Friends, Family: Report
2. Friends Parents Can Sway Teens Odds for Drinking, Smoking
3. Key to More Active, Slimmer Kids: Friends
4. Friends Life Care, a Pennsylvania Based Long-Term Care Provider, Launches VigR eMeetinghouse — An Interactive Online Community
5. New evidence for link between obesity and circle of friends
6. Heavier Friends Might Widen Your Waistline: Study
7. Childhood Friendships May Be Key to Adult Happiness
8. More Friends, Greater Well-Being at Midlife?
9. Jon Hoffenberg Named to the Board of Directors for Friends of Miami-Dade Public Library
10. This Holiday Season, Family and Friends of People with Breathing Problems are Choosing the Ideal Gift for Monitoring Lung Health: the Spiro PD Personal Spirometer
11. Astro Clairvoyant Norah Guide with Premium Astrology Helps Friends and Followers Predict and Understand Current Events At No Cost
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... ... March 30, 2017 , ... ... eve of Autism Awareness Month, representatives from Organic Consumers Association, National Health Freedom ... For Health Foundation, A Voice for Choice, Moms Across America, Freedom and Ethics ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... ... March 30, 2017 , ... ... letter to President Trump expressing their support for an independent Vaccine Safety Commission. ... scientists and one medical journalist, will hold a press conference at 9:00 ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2017 , ... ... men’s and women’s professional squash, announced it has enlisted New York City-based sports ... The agency will develop and procure sponsorship opportunities for the Professional Squash Association ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , ... March 30, 2017 , ... Youth Futures International ... success and feedback from high school and college students who have participated in the ... July 7-23 and YFI is now accepting applications for enrollment. Visit http://www.ghana.yfiexperience.org ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... Baton Rouge, Louisiana (PRWEB) , ... March 29, ... ... trademarked HeartBoost in three Hours at a Walgreens store in Mississippi. AngioGenesis Labs, ... campaign at Walgreens Stores in two southeastern states. Ingredients in HeartBoost, an over ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/30/2017)... PHILADELPHIA , March 30, 2017  Lannett Company, ... the company voluntarily made a $25 million payment against ... $25 million payment, combined with the $75 million payment ... us approximately $5.5 million in annualized cash interest expense, ... executive officer of Lannett.  "Our business is solid and ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the ... & Forecast, By Type (Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis), By Product (Device, ... 2014 To 2025" report to their offering. ... The global ... 108.5 billion by 2025. Home-based dialysis ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... 29, 2017  Bodycad announced today that it ... 510(k) clearance for its Bodycad Unicompartmental Knee System, ... orthopaedic restoration. Bodycad is the first Canadian company ... implant system. Bodycad,s revolutionary Unicompartmental ... of the patient,s unique anatomical features and kinematics. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: