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How multiple childhood maltreatments lead to greater adolescent binge drinking
Date:3/3/2009

The findings were based on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health which included a nationally representative sample of 12,748 adolescents who underwent a series of three interviews about their social environment between 1995 and 2002. The maltreatment questions were asked in the third interview using a computer-assisted self-interviewing method. Parental alcoholism, education and income were based on parental respondents, not adolescent participants.

"We now have strong evidence indicating that adverse childhood experiences such as child maltreatment increases an individual's risk for alcohol problems in adolescence," said Sunny Hyucksun Shin, Assistant Professor of Human Behavior in the Social Environment at Boston University's School of Social Work. "The new challenges we face in substance use research is to identify developmental mechanisms that link childhood maltreatment to heavy episodic drinking in adolescence that can be targeted in the future development of prevention intervention."

Adolescent binge drinking, the authors note, is a major public health problem, accounting for nearly one-fifth (18.8%) of the 10.8 million underage drinkers aged 12 to 20, according to 2005 data in the National Survey on Drug Abuse Health. The problems are greater in males (21.3%) than females (16.1%).

The prevalence of underage drinking has been linked to a host of immediate and long-term adverse outcomes, most notably obesity and high blood pressure, headaches, and concentration difficulties that leads to trouble learning and remembering. In addition to poor academic achievement, binge drinking has led to unprotected sexual activity, unsafe driving practices and motor vehicle accidents.

"Researchers examining the relationship between childhood maltreatments and risky alcohol use in adolescence should simultaneously consider all types of childhood maltreatment to address the totality of the child's experience," th
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Contact: Ronald Rosenberg
ronrosen@bu.edu
617-358-1240
Boston University
Source:Eurekalert

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