Posts tagged with ‘teen drinking’
Underage drinking refers to minors who consume alcohol. In the United States, the legal drinking age is 21, but the limit varies from 16-18 in other countries. Underage drinking is very dangerous as alcohol consumption can lead to risky behavior such as unprotected sex, driving under the influence, and alcohol-related injuries. In addition, parts of the brain are still developing, so exposure to alcohol can affect cognitive development.
Leftover drinks and even the alcohol in perfumes are causing more and more poisonings of children, according to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Excessive alcohol consumption isn’t safe regardless of age, but for children, the dangers are multiplied.
Parents often rely on the movie ratings system to help guide decisions about which movies their kids are allowed to see. For teens, parents may limit them to PG-13 movies, or only allow R-rated movies if they are pre-screened by the parents for content and language.
When it comes to advertising the alcohol industry does its own regulating. Television advertising is ruled by a set of regulations that discourages alcohol marketers from running ads during times that the underage population is most likely to watch television. While not a foolproof system, the regulations do seek to reduce child and teen exposure to alcohol images. When it comes to other types of advertising, however, it may be more difficult to determine the audience.
A study by researchers at Bowling Green State University and Iowa State University shows that half-siblings with a different father are significantly more likely to try drugs and sex before the age of 15 when compared with other teens that have only full siblings.
Adolescence is a confusing period of emotional highs and lows. These are years when kids are, for the first time, experiencing an identity separate from that of their parents and home. Whether it is the freedom of driving a car or having their own job or even their first romantic relationship, teens are figuring out how to be their own person.
Research has shown boys have traditionally engaged in more drug and alcohol abuse than girls. But that’s starting to change. Today more girls are abusing prescription drugs than boys and more girls are drinking than ever before, and it can be a struggle knowing if a teen girl has a substance abuse problem.
It has long been thought that if kids were exposed to alcohol at a young age, they were at a greater risk for developing life-long alcohol problems and other negative behaviors. Full Story
The combination of youthful unwise choices and mind-altering substances like alcohol is dangerous enough to concern not only parents, but society as a whole. Consequently, there is an ever running stream of research into how best to curb adolescent alcohol use. The problem is that the research frequently yields contradictory conclusions. One of those controversies exists over the usefulness of prohibiting alcohol advertising in preventing teen alcohol consumption. Does limiting or eliminating alcohol ads make it less likely that kids will use alcohol?
The answer is complex. To begin with there are plenty of other contributing influences which would need to be effectively factored out in order to get a clear picture of how advertising affects alcohol use. Studies which look for what primarily impacts a young person’s likelihood of abusing alcohol repeatedly point to the influence of parents and close friends as of primary importance. Another factor which has been shown to influence alcohol use is price. When alcohol is expensive, fewer kids can afford to indulge. Of course, adults who consume alcohol would not necessarily welcome higher prices in the name of teen prevention.
Another question which needs to be answered is just how influential advertising is in affecting our purchasing habits. Plenty of research shows that while advertising may be effective in getting us to try another brand of a product, it rarely creates new demand for the product. In other words, consumers may be influenced to buy a less expensive or more expensive brand of perfume, but advertising has not been shown to create new perfume users. In the same way, alcohol companies are advertising to get drinkers to switch labels more effectively than they are in winning over new drinkers. Beer drinkers, wine drinkers, vodka drinkers may each be swayed to try another kind of their chosen beverage by effective marketing, but no studies show that advertising wins over new wine or beer drinkers.
Prohibiting alcohol advertising during certain hours was tried in the Netherlands in recent years. From early morning until nine at night, the Dutch made it illegal to advertise alcohol on television or radio. Compliance with the ruling was judged to be practically universal, yet the ban did next to nothing to impact teen alcohol use in that country. Experts suggest that the ban failed because teens tend to populate the largest segment of after nine p.m. tv viewers. By driving alcohol ads to late night tv, the advertisers were actually more effective in reaching a younger audience.
When we are faced with a clear concern, the temptation is to do something rather than do nothing. No one is suggesting doing nothing, of course. But, it is wise to choose interventions which have the best chance of being effective. So far, placing limits on alcohol advertising has not proven to be an effective plan.
In Spain, youth meet for the “botellón,” or social drinking in the streets; in the UK parents are letting their teens have a “tipple” before they are the legal drinking age. Full Story
It can be a very frightening thought, but parents should consider that influences on their teens may prove too much to overcome, leading to a substantial risk for experimenting with and abuse of alcohol. The question is how do you know if your teen is at risk for alcohol abuse? Here we look at some answers. Full Story