Aggressive Adolescents More Likely to Abuse Alcohol

First Posted: Aug 07, 2014 03:56 AM EDT

Adolescents who behave aggressively are more likely to abuse alcohol as compared to their peers, a team of Finish researchers stated.  

Teenage aggression in high schools has been on the rise, leading researchers explored the complex predictors linked with youth aggression. Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland evaluated the association between psychological problems and alcohol use in 4074 Finnish adolescents aged between 13-18 years. They found that aggressive behavior increased adolescent drinking; however, they found no association between depression and anxiety to increased alcohol use.

Around 60 percent of the total number of participants consumed alcohol. Among 15-year-olds, more than 50 percent reported consuming alcohol. However, no significant difference was noticed between alcohol use among boys and girls.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism stated that teens don't drink alcohol often; but when they do, they drink more than adults. More often than not, teens indulge in binge drinking, consuming more than five servings of alcohol at one time, Nature World News reports.

The results showed that smoking and attention problems also increased the chances of alcohol use. Among girls, early menstrual cycle and parental divorce was also linked with alcohol use. Aggressive behavior was more common among girls than boys.

"The findings raise questions about a possible change in the behaviour of adolescent girls and their vulnerability during adolescent social and emotional development," said Eila Laukkanen, Professor and Chief Physician of Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital.

The researchers noted that the proportion of adolescents who abuse alcohol showed a drastic increase as compared to earlier studies. Many adolescents consume high amounts of alcohol that at times exceed the risk levels. Adolescents who consume alcohol early in life are more prone to developing mental health problems and alcohol dependence. 

The finding is documented in the Journal of Adolescence.

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