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Protective communities may reduce risk of drinking in teens
Date:1/9/2013

eriences in the community at large can help sever the link between risk factors and underage drinking.

Jones's findings fit hand-in-hand with the work of Mark E. Feinberg, research professor in the Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development. Feinberg worked on this study and also authored a recent article in the American Journal of Public Health that discussed new ideas for helping communities find the best and most effective strategies for preventing adolescent substance use.

"If we're talking about teenagers and their initiation of substance use, we want to know which kids are most likely to start using drugs, drinking alcohol or binge drinking," said Feinberg. "We want to know if the kids who are most likely to start drinking have risk factors that distinguish them from the rest of the population -- in terms of their family life, the peers that they hang out with, their own individual attitudes, and perhaps their own social-emotional adjustment and confidence to manage their emotions and tolerate frustration.

"If we can understand which of those factors are the most important predictors, we can target our prevention resources in a more effective way. Right now we really don't know in a causal sense, or even in a considered correlational sense, which factors are key. Are they all equal? If not, we should apportion our prevention dollars accordingly."

Feinberg also said that an important next step for the field, which his team has already been working on, is to determine if some risk factors are more or less important given certain kinds of community contexts.

"We have already found that the relation of risk and protective factors to underage drinking depends in part on the community a kid is living in," said Feinberg. "We now want to examine whether certain risk factors are more important in certain types of communities, such as rural versus suburban versus urban or high versus low income.
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Contact: Victoria M. Indivero
vmi1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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