Teens may be drinking to gain popularity, study says

By Amanda Stewart,

New research has suggested that middle and high school age kids who drink more often are also the more popular students in school.

Studies before this have all looked at how your friends and social groups have effected drinking, but none have studied how drinking boosts popularity among young people, according to Reuters.

Researchers studied data from a survey taken in 1994 of students seventh to twelfth grade. The survey had questions about drinking habits, number of friends, friends of friends as well as life at home and a few other factors. Those who indicated they drank occasionally or even get drunk had higher social connectivity.

The kids that reported that they get drunk, on average, had an extra friend than kids that do not drink at all. And those who drink occasionally or moderately had half a friend more, on average, than those who do not drink at all.

Authors of the study did, however, point out that other factors have led to popularity among teens, according to WTAQ News Talk. Athletics as well as academics have led to popularity in studies conducted in the past.

The best way to help teens not feel like drinking will make them popular would be to not revolve the adult world around alcohol, i.e. the excitement centered around turning 21.

Researchers also point out that if parents do not openly talk to their children about alcohol and urge them to have a healthy relationship with alcohol, it will not lead them to believe alcohol makes them popular.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons



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