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Families, friends, schools and neighborhoods contribute to adolescent alcohol misuse
Date:11/13/2008

amily, peers, schools, and neighborhoodsplayed a role in whether teens misused alcohol. They also found that the adolescents generally were more likely to misuse alcohol the more they were exposed to alcohol use by others in their social environments.

Other characteristics of those environments tended to increase or decrease the risk associated with alcohol misuse. For example, the risk for teens of being exposed to drinking by schoolmates weakened when parents supervised their children. On the other hand, the risk of exposure to drinking by schoolmates grew when there was conflict in the family and when more family members drank. These findings underscore the important role played by families in teens' use of alcohol, throughout adolescence.

"Our findings affirm what social ecological theories suggest: Adolescents are embedded in a social world of family, friends, schoolmates, and neighbors, all of whom matter to adolescent development," according to Susan T. Ennett, associate professor of health behavior and health education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the study's lead author. "And adolescent alcohol misuse is socially conditioned behavior."


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Contact: Andrea Browning
abrowning@srcd.org
202-289-7905
Society for Research in Child Development
Source:Eurekalert

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