Teen’s Alcohol Abuse

There are a number of studies identifying the specific factors that contribute to teens’ abuse of alcohol. These factors range from race or ethnicity up to methods of access to the alcohol. The prior studies have identified some of these factors as true in certain groups and areas. This current study will identify whether these factors are also applicable to the same age group of teens within the same chosen location. It would verify whether the identified factors positively contribute to teens’ abuse of alcohol. II.

LITERATURE REVIEW There are some factors identified to lead to alcohol abuse which include family’s history of drinking problems, parents’ negative attitude towards alcohol, race or ethnicity, family income, exposure to violence and crimes, and the methods of acquiring alcohol. This current study intends to verify whether these factors contribute to the teens’ alcohol abuse. In a study by Orford, Krishnan, and Velleman (2003), the authords identified how family cohesion is affected by one or two parents having alcohol problems.

This is said to contribute to exposure to some sort of domestic violence and is a factor that will lead to alcohol abuse for teens. This study utilized a diagram to show how the members interact with one another. Another study found out that college students that have “alcoholic parents and grandparents are more likely to have drinking problems” (Perkins & Berkowitz, 1991, p. 239). Perkins et al. (1991, p. 239) also found that those teens whose parents and/or grandparents were ‘treated’ for alcoholism has more frequent heavy consumption of alcohol.

On the other hand, those teenagers whose parents are not formally diagnosed and treated have less “self-monitoring mechanism” that allows them to lessen negative impact of alcoholism. However, the study has a very limited number of respondents (n=51). Although these findings are further supported by Turissi (1999, p. 1196) “family history (in drinking) is related to the judgments teens make with respect to perceived intoxication”. Since teens are exposed to alcohol, those that have a history of drinking in the family have intensified tendencies for binge drinking and drunk driving.

The study also identified that teens have uninformed notion of “numbers of drinks and time to consume” alcohol that in turn leads to abuse of alcohol (Turissi, 1999, p. 1196). A study by Hill and Angel (2005) used the Conger’s (1956) tension reduction hypothesis which states that “people consume alcohol for its tension-reducing properties” (p. 966). In their study (2005), they have underprivileged respondents who associated heavy drinking with their neighborhood.

Level of income was also considered by Blum, Beuhring, Shew, Bearinger, Sieving and Resnick (2000) wherein those adolescents wit lower income have higher health risk behaviors including alcohol abuse. In the same study, they found out that “Hispanic youths are at especially high risk for alcohol abuse” (p. 1883). In another study though, “there is some evidence that minorities, compared with Whites, enter treatment with higher-severity problems” (Schmidt, Ye, Greenfield & Bond, 2007, p. 49).

However, it is important to note that this is a study that involves adults rather than teens. Another factor that may contribute to teens’ abuse of alcohol is the attitude of (socially drinking) parents regarding alcohol. In study a conducted by Wood, Mitchell, Read and Brand (2004), with participants aged 18 to 19 years old, they have found that “parents’ permissiveness or disapproval… (have) influence in determining adolescents… transition into heavier drinking” (p. 20). Parents’ behaviors in preventing alcohol use were also measured.

Thus, the study employed parents’ monitoring activities as well as their time spent together. Another factor that may lead to alcohol abuse is the ease or difficulty of acquiring alcohol. In a study conducted by Hearst, Fulkerson, Maldonado-Molina, Perry and Komro (2007) it is found out that the “predominant source of alcohol for young teens is parents” (p. 475). This would also contribute to “increased acceptance of alcohol at a young age” (Hearst et al. , 2007, p. 475). Other sources included peers, both over and under 21 years old, and peer’s parents.

Another study further suggested that “availability of alcohol may be a more significant predictor of pre-teen alcohol initiation” (Bossarte & Swahn, n. d. , p. 16). However, this study is conducted on pre-teens and suggests that a study for teens be conducted. Both studies take into consideration the benefit of prevention at an early age. Since, most of the studies mentioned regarding alcohol abuse vary with age, income, ethnicity and parental situations, a study that will verify whether such factors are relevant to teen alcohol abuse is needed, which justifies the current study.

This research puts all the mentioned contributing factors together in the same plane to measure all of them with the same age range of respondents, the same ethnicity sample and the same level of income to measures the factors that ultimately lead to teens’ alcohol abuse whether they hold true when conducted in a chosen location. IV. HYPOTHESES If parents and grandparents have drinking problems, then teens will have more tendency of alcohol abuse. If teens are exposed to violence and crime, then they are more prone for alcohol abuse.

If parents have a negative attitude to drinking alcohol, then, teens tend to abuse it more. If teens are Hispanic and come from a low income family, then they are more likely to have alcohol abuse. If acquiring alcohol is easy for teens, then they are more likely for alcohol abuse.

Reference: Blum, R. W. , Beuhring, T. , Shew, M. L. , Bearinger, L. H. , Sieving, R. E. , & Resnick, M. D. (2000). “The Effects of Race/Ethnicity, Income, and Family Structure on Adolescent Risk Behaviors. ” American Journal of Public Health, 90(122), pp.

1879-1884. Bossarte, R. M. & Swahn, M. H. , (n. d. ). “Risk and Protective Factors for Pre-Teen Alcohol Use Initiation Among U. S. Urban Seventh Grade Minority Students. ” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. pp. 1-27. Hearst, M. O. , Fulkerson, J. A. , Maldonado-Molina, M. M. , Perry, C. L. , Komro, K. A. (2007). “Who needs liquor stores when parents will do? The importance of social sources of alcohol among young urban teens. ” Preventive Medicine 44, pp. 471–476. Hill, T. H. & Angel, R. J. (2005).

“Neighborhood disorder, psychological distress, and heavy drinking. ” Social Science & Medicine 61, pp. 965–975 Lindsey, R. L. , Weist, M. D. , Smith-Lebeau, M. , Rosner, L. Dixon, L. B. , & Pruitt, D. D. (2004). “Significance of Self-Reported Drug or Alcohol Use Among Inner-City Teenagers. ” Psychiatric Services 55(7), pp. 824 – 826. Orford, J. , Krishnan, M. , & Velleman, R. (2003). “Young adult offspring of parents with drinking problems: a study of childhood family cohesion using simple family diagrams.

” Journal of Substance Use 8(3), pp. 139–149. Perkins, H. W. , Berkowitz, A. D. , (1991). “Collegiate COAs and Alcohol Abuse: Problem Drinking in Relation to Assessment of Parent and Grandparent Alcoholism. ” Journal of Counseling and Development 69, pp. 237 -240. Schmidt, L. A. , Ye Y. , Greenfield, T. K. , & Bond, J. , (2007) “Ethnic Disparities in Clinical Severity and Services for Alcohol Problems: Results from the National Alcohol Survey. ” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 31(1), pp. 48 – 56.

Turrisi, R. & Wiersma, K. , (1999). “Examination of Judgments of Drunkenness, Binge Drinking, and Drunk-Driving Tendencies in Teens With and Without a Family History of Alcohol Abuse. ” Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 23(7), pp. 1191-1198. Wood, M. D. , Read J. P. , Mitchell, R. E. , Brand, N. H. , (2004). “Do Parents Still Matter? Parent and Peer Influences on Alcohol Involvement among Recent High School Graduates. ” Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Educational Publishing Foundation 18(1), pp. 19–30.

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