Aggressive Behavior Associated With Higher Risk of Teen Alcohol Use
Youth drinking is still a significant issue throughout America, especially in light of recent findings which show that substance use at an early age heightens the risk for substance abuse later in life. Thankfully, a new study may help identify the risk signs in adolescents.
Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio University Hospital, the University of Tampere, and Päijät-Häme Central Hospital found that adolescents who behave aggressively are more likely to drink alcohol and in larger quantities compared to their peers. The findings also suggest that previously believed indicators depression and anxiety were not linked to alcohol use.
“The findings raise questions about a possible change in the behavior of adolescent girls and their vulnerability during adolescent social and emotional development,” said researcher Eila Laukkanen, professor and chief physician of adolescent psychiatry at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital.
The findings also showed that smoking and attention problems increase the risk of alcohol use. Other traits associated with higher probability of alcohol use include early menarch in girls and parental divorce.
The study, published in the Journal of Adolescence, evaluated information from over 4,000 Finish teens between 13 and 18 years old. Of those, 60 percent said they use or have used alcohol and more than 50 percent of 15-year-olds reported alcohol use.
The study didn’t show a rise in youth use of alcohol, but it noted that many adolescents reported consuming high amounts of alcohol that often exceeded risk levels.