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Why do high school seniors drink?
Date:12/3/2007

Coffman said.

Coffman and her colleague Lori Palen, also from Penn State, said the purpose of their study was to identify the major motivations for drinking, find out if the motivations were different for boys and girls, and understand how the different motivations for drinking among boys and girls were related to drinking initiation, frequency of drunkenness and daytime drinking.

Boys were more likely to belong to the higher-risk group of thrill seekers, while girls were more likely to belong to the lowest level of risky drinking, the experimenters. Both boys and girls who drank just to experiment with alcohol were also more likely to initiate drinking at a later age, compared to those who drank for other reasons Coffman said.

Compared to the experimenters, boys who reported drinking before 4 p.m.were eight times more likely to belong to the highest-risk group that drank for multiple reasons; girls who drank before 4 p.m. were six times more likely to belong to the group that drank for multiple reasons.

Coffman said that their study looked at a representative sample of one graduating class. We cannot say our results apply to all graduating classes after 2004, but the findings should certainly be useful to educators, prevention experts and parents.

Previous studies have found that alcohol use reaches its peak level during and immediately after high school graduation. It remains high through the age of 25, that is why the senior year of high school is a critical point for which to understand the motives for drinking and to establish healthier alcohol use behaviors, Coffman said.


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Contact: Prabhu Ponkshe
prabhu@preventionresearch.org
703-918-4860
Society for Prevention Research
Source:Eurekalert

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