A recent study has found that peers and gender can influence teen alcohol use. Girls, in particular, are vulnerable.
The study, which used data from a population-based, longitudinal twin study of behavioral development and health-risk factors from Finland, found that the influence of risk factors associated with peers appeared to be stronger in girls. Researchers analyzed the association between friendship characteristics and alcohol use, testing for interaction with gender and gender of friends.
“Our findings suggest that girls may be more susceptible to their friends’ drinking,” Danielle Dick, corresponding author for the study, “and that having opposite-sex friends who drinks is also associated with increased drinking, for both sexes.”
Authors of the study encourage parents to be aware of their child’s friends and how they spend their time together. Need some help starting a conversation? Take a look at the Time to Talk website.
The study and its results were published in the December issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
From Science Daily: “Both Gender and Friendship Can Influence Adolescent Alcohol Use”
From Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research: “Gender Differences in Friends’ Influences on Adolescent Drinking: A Genetic Epidemiological Study”