Teens who drink heavily are more likely than their peers to have behavioral and attention problems and suffer from anxiety and depression, new research finds. Science Daily reports that a team led by researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology based their research on a study of nearly 9,000 Norwegian teenagers aged 13-19 years. Eighty percent of the teens said they had tried alcohol, and 29 percent said they had been drunk more than ten times in their lives.
Study Show Teen Drinking Linked to Behavioral Problems
The study, lead by Arve Strandheim from the NTNU Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Public Health and General Practice, found that boys who drank frequently were more likely to report conduct problems, and girls who drank frequently reported attention and conduct problems, along with anxiety and depression. Forty-three percent of students who reported behavioral or other problems also reported having been drunk more than ten times in their lives, while only 27 percent of students who reported few or no conduct problems had been drunk more than ten times. Boys were only slightly more likely than girls to report drinking heavily.
The team used data from a comprehensive, population-based cross-sectional survey called Young HUNT. Ninety-one percent of the youth population in one Norwegian county answered the drinking and behavioral questionnaire as part of a larger comprehensive health survey of the entire county’s population aged 13 and older. The researchers caution that because the study is based on a one-time questionnaire, it does not show a cause-and-effect relationship. But the study does suggest that adolescents with attention and conduct problems are at high risk for developing alcohol problems. Teenaged girls with depression or anxiety should also be considered at high risk of developing alcohol problems, especially those aged 13-16.
More Risks of Teen Drinking
Besides the fact that teen drinking is linked to behavioral problems, there are other concerns about teen drinking. For instance, teens who drink are more likely to engage in risky behaviors. For example, they may drive drunk or get into a car with a drunk driver. Studies show that teens who begin drinking before age 15 are more likely to be injured while under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, they may engage in vandalism or property damage.
Additionally, many teens who drink do more sexually than they would ordinarily. They also tend to be less likely to wear condoms. This puts the couple at risk for contraction of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies.
Get Treatment For Your Teen Today
If you’re concerned by the fact that teen drinking is linked to behavioral problems, it may be time to seek treatment for your child. At Promises Behavioral Health. We treat a variety of addictions, including:
It’s not too late to get help for your teen. If you want to learn more about our programs or about how teen drinking is linked to behavioral problems, call 844.875.5609 today.