Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teens who drink alone more likely to develop alcohol problems as young adults

Date:
November 18, 2013
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Most teenagers who drink alcohol do so with their friends in social settings, but a new study reveals that a significant number of adolescents consume alcohol while they are alone. Furthermore, solitary teenage drinkers are more likely to develop alcohol use disorders in early adulthood.

Most teenagers who drink alcohol do so with their friends in social settings, but a new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh reveals that a significant number of adolescents consume alcohol while they are alone.

Related Articles


Published in an upcoming issue of Clinical Psychological Science, the researchers found that compared to their peers who drink only in social settings, teens who drink alone have more alcohol problems, are heavier drinkers and are more likely to drink in response to negative emotions. Furthermore, solitary teenage drinkers are more likely to develop alcohol use disorders in early adulthood.

"We're learning that kids who drink alone tend to do so because they're feeling lonely, are in a bad mood, or had an argument with a friend," said lead author Kasey Creswell, assistant professor of psychology in CMU's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. "They seem to be using alcohol to self-medicate as a way to cope with negative emotions and, importantly, this pattern of drinking places them at high risk to escalate their alcohol use and develop alcohol problems in adulthood."

Previous research has shown that adolescents who drink alone consume more alcohol and drink more frequently than their social-drinking peers, and that heavier alcohol use in adolescence is associated with a greater risk of developing alcohol problems in adulthood. This study is the first to determine whether solitary drinking during teenage years impacted the development of alcohol use disorders as young adults, after controlling for other known risk factors.

For the study, the researchers first surveyed 709 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 at the Pittsburgh Adolescent Alcohol Research Center (PAARC), asking them to report on their alcohol use in the past year. Adolescents represented youth from clinical treatment programs and the community. When the participants turned 25, they were again asked about their alcohol use and assessed for alcohol use disorders. The results showed that 38.8 percent of teens in the sample reported drinking alone during ages 12-18. This behavior was linked to unpleasant emotions, and solitary drinkers were one and a half times more likely to develop alcohol dependence at age 25.

"Because adolescent solitary drinking is an early warning sign for alcohol use disorder in young adulthood, and solitary drinking tends to occur in response to negative emotions, youth who report solitary drinking might benefit from interventions that teach more adaptive strategies for coping with negative emotions," noted Tammy Chung, associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and co-author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Teens who drink alone more likely to develop alcohol problems as young adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118103937.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (2013, November 18). Teens who drink alone more likely to develop alcohol problems as young adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118103937.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Teens who drink alone more likely to develop alcohol problems as young adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131118103937.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins