Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Three "Doh's" and a "Hmmmm."

In one of my alcohol and addiction newsletters last week there were four articles that struck me with a certain surprise. The first three were a surprise of, "Doh! What do you expect....

  • U.K. Study Links Alcohol Drinking With Other Risky Behavior
All Headline News  June 25, 2010

London, England, United Kingdom (AHN) - A study by the National Center for Social Research linked alcohol drinking among young Britons with other risky behavior. The study was based on a survey of 15,500 youths who had histories of drinking.

The study found a connection between young people who drink at an early age and other risky behavior such as smoking, using drugs, shoplifting and writing graffiti. A link was also established between drinking and hanging out with friends, attending parties and having a negative outlook toward education.

See the full article at: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7019103299?U.K.%20Study%20Links%20Alcohol%20Drinking%20With%20Other%20Risky%20Behavior#ixzz0sAqONYFW
**** I guess no one ever told the researchers that alcohol lowers inhibitions which would - surprise- lead to other risky behaviors.****
  • Parenting style influences teen drinking patterns, researchers say
Los Angeles Times June 24, 2010 |

Some parents assume that teenagers will drink alcohol and there is little they can do to prevent it. Research does indicate that parenting has little effect on whether kids decide to try alcohol. But parenting attitudes and actions can make a big difference in how much and how often a teenager drinks.

Researchers at Brigham Young University surveyed 5,000 adolescents about their drinking habits and their relationship with their parents. They found the kids least prone to heavy drinking had parents who scored high on accountability (knowing where their kids were and with whom) and warmth. Having so-called "indulgent" parents, who were low on accountability and high on warmth, nearly tripled the risk of the teen participating in heavy drinking. The study also found that "strict" parents -- high on accountability and low on warmth -- more than doubled their teen's risk of heavy drinking. These results were apparent even when researchers controlled for other influences, such as peer pressure, religious and economic background.

See the full article at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2010/06/teenagers-alcohol-drinking-parenting.html

****In spite of all the talk about the power of "peer pressure" it has been proven over and over and over (and over) again (and again) that the impact of parents is still Numero Uno.****
  • Free drinks: an exploitation of binge drinking
The Daily Reveille (Louisiana State University)
Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Alcohol consumption is an undeniable staple of college culture.

From John Belushi's iconic sweater in "Animal House" to Natural Light's "Naturday" advertisements on Nicholson Drive, drinking and college have always gone hand in hand.

Combine students' love for alcohol and lack of cash and you get one of the greatest college promotions ever - free drinks.

See the full commentary at: http://www.lsureveille.com/opinion/free-drinks-an-exploitation-of-binge-drinking-1.2276462

****Hey, dude. It's free. How can I pass that up?****
Now for the surprise. I would not have guess it, but more drinking actually happens on non-celebration weekends....
Differences in college student typical drinking and celebration drinking

Citation: Woodyard, C. D., Hallam, J. S. (2010) Differences in college student typical drinking and celebration drinking. Journal of American College Health, 58(6), 533-538.

Abstract: The purpose of the study was to determine whether students consume alcohol in greater quantities when drinking in celebration of an event or holiday versus typical drinking use. Celebratory occasions include tailgating during football games, holidays, and the beginning and ending of academic semesters.  

Participants: Traditional undergraduates, ages 18 to 24, who attended the university full time in the Fall 2007 and the Spring 2008.  

Methods: Eight hundred participants were randomly selected to participate in the study. A stratified random sample was drawn according to class rank and sex. A total of 287 survey responses were collected.  

Results: Alcohol consumption was greatest during typical weekend drinking, followed by celebration drinking and then by typical weekday drinking.  

Conclusions: Celebration drinking was expected to be greater than typical drinking; however, typical weekend drinking episodes were greater than celebratory drinking. Intervention efforts should focus on reducing weekend alcohol consumption.

The non-surprise in that is actually that the researchers understand that the real target should be the normal weekends. It probably has something to do with being bored on the non-special weekends. And boredom can lead to many things.

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