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Underage drinking starts before adolescence
Date:8/30/2007

ng both adolescence and young adulthood. It is this linkage that argues most strongly for preventing alcohol use prior to adolescence, Donovan said.

The surveys also show that African-American children are at as much at risk for early drinking as are other children, despite their lower risk for drinking as adolescents. Children are drinking, and our concern with underage drinking needs to start in elementary school, not in high school or college. Research shows that prevention programs should begin before the targeted behavior begins. But alcohol use prevention programs among 5th graders or younger students have shown inconsistent results. Successful programs aimed at these children have involved parents and other family members, not just the children in the school setting, according to Donovan. Prior to this review, these data on childrens drinking were buried in foundation or state government reports, or stored on hard-to-find internet web sites, so we didnt know the true extent of the problem of childrens involvement with alcohol, he said.

Donovan located four national surveys that included questions about childrens alcohol and drug use. The four surveys were the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS), the National Survey of Parents and Youth (NSPY), the Health Behavior in School-aged Children (HSBC) survey and the PRIDE Survey. These surveys included limited questions about childrens use of alcohol. Surveys of young children conducted by states included versions of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), the Communities that Care (CTC) questionnaire, and the PRIDE survey

The study by the University of Pittsburgh researcher was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It points out the need for an ongoing national survey of children aged 12 and under to monitor childrens alcohol use and the need for alcohol prevention efforts in this population.

Knowing how many children have had experience with alcohol would
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Contact: Prabhu Ponkshe
prabhu@healthmatrixinc.com
703-918-4860
Society for Prevention Research
Source:Eurekalert

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