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Teenage alcohol consumption associated with computer use
Date:5/9/2011

NEW YORK (May 9, 2011) -- Teenagers who drink alcohol spend more time on their computers for recreational use, including social networking and downloading and listening to music, compared with their peers who don't drink.

Results of an anonymous survey of 264 teenagers were reported in the online edition of the journal Addictive Behaviors in a study authored by Weill Cornell Medical College public health researcher Dr. Jennifer Epstein.

"While the specific factors linking teenage drinking and computer use are not yet established, it seems likely that adolescents are experimenting with drinking and activities on the Internet. In turn, exposure to online material such as alcohol advertising or alcohol-using peers on social networking sites could reinforce teens' drinking," says Dr. Epstein, assistant professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College. "Children are being exposed to computers and the Internet at younger ages. For this reason it's important that parents are actively involved in monitoring their children's computer usage, as well as alcohol use.

"According to a national study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, more than half of parents of teenagers had filters installed on the computers their child uses to block content parents find objectionable, yet many parents do not use any form of parental monitoring, particularly for older teens," continues Dr. Epstein.

The Weill Cornell survey was completed by participants aged 13 to 17 and residing in the United States. Results showed that teens who reported drinking in the last month used a computer more hours per week excluding school work than those who did not; however, there was no demonstrated link between alcohol use and computer use for school work. Drinking was also linked to more frequent social networking and listening to and downloading music. There was no strong link between video games and drinking or online shopping and drinking. <
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Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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