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Do we need alcohol prevention programs for 'tweens?'

The article examined a large study of six grade students across a metropolitan area, to see which factors distinguished young alcohol users from nonusers, including even their stated intentions regarding future alcohol use. Understanding that early alcohol use can affect development during a crucial time in life and can cause significant problems later, the researchers explored some current teen alcohol abuse prevention programs, concluding that even earlier intervention is imperative. The study looked at both positive and negative influences affecting early drinking, including such things as:

  • Parental influences, including communication, monitoring, and expectations

  • Peer influences, peers actual alcohol use and kids perceptions of peer use

  • The environment, access to alcohol, owning and wearing alcohol-related items

  • Kids involvement in sports, religious and other extra-curricular activities

  • Use of other substances, including tobacco and marijuana

Early users of alcohol are already at very high risk and earlier intervention is critical to alter risk factors while students are in their tweens, write the authors. Although some research has been done in the primary prevention of developmental problems with tweens, the data suggests that a specific focus on particular alcohol-related risk factors is also needed to affect those at highest risk for teen alcohol use.


Contact: Andrea Rulfo
SAGE Publications

Page: 1

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