Peer Alcohol Consumption Related to Perceived Norms

by Acola2 on November 4, 2013 - 11:47pm

 
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Preferenc

The basis of this study was to look at adolescent perception of peer, parent and community alcohol norms and relate them back to alcohol consumption and related consequences.  Norms can be defined as widely understood beliefs that are perceived as factors that cause specific behaviors.  In 2004, 66,958 adolescents ages 14-20 years old, from five states (New York, California, Florida, Missouri, and Connecticut), participated in a study that looked at five categories broken up into smaller areas of study to see just exactly how the perception of peers, parents and their community related to alcohol consumption and its consequences. The main characteristics were peer influence, parental influence, community influence, drinking behaviors and alcohol related consequences and individual characteristics. Peer influence contained perceived same age drinking, friend’s drinking, friend’s drunkenness and drinking with friends. Parental influence contained perceived parental sanctions for drinking, drinking with parents, parents providing alcohol at parties, and friend’s parents providing alcohol at a party. Community influences included perceived community care, school sanctions for drinking, law enforcement sanctions, community youth drinking rate, successful purchase of alcohol and commercial source of alcohol. The individual characteristics that were looked at age, gender, race,  living two parents, parental college education, religious service attendance, hours watching television,  and age of first drink without permission. All of these four groups, can relate to the main group which was the basis of the study which was drinking behaviors and alcohol related consequences, the five parts of this group were current drinking, heavy episodic drinking, last 30 day drunkenness, DUI or riding with a drinking driver, and alcohol related nonviolent consequences. Of the adolescences that participated in the study, males that were predominantly white, older, less likely to live with both parents and less religious, indicated that they had the highest levels of drinking. Yet, youth that attended church regularly, were likely to be talked to or yelled at by their parents, and had a large community involvement in decreasing teen drinking, were less likely to drink or be involved in a drinking and driving incident. Also, in summary, adolescences that were around friends that drank and drank regularly were more likely to drink also. Interestingly, each year your age increases, there is a 14% increase in the likeliness of an adolescent drinking.

            The key question the author is looking at through this study is to see if adolescents’ perception of peer, parent and community alcohol norms, really does relate to alcohol consumption and alcohol related consequences, which is shown through the five groups. In summary, the perception of peers, parents, and community’s alcohol norms does relate to alcohol consumption and alcohol related consequences. This can be proven by the fact that teens that were around friends that drank, were more likely to drink and that if the community had an active involvement in preventing teens from drinking they were less likely too. Also, if a adolescents parent were likely to yell or talk to them about their drinking, the chances of them drinking were lower.

 

APA Citation:

Song, E., Smiler, A. P., Wagoner, K. G., & Wolfson, M. (2012). Everyone Says It's OK: Adolescents' Perceptions of Peer, Parent, and Community Alcohol Norms, Alcohol Consumption, and Alcohol-Related Consequences. Substance Use & Misuse, 47(1), 86-98.

Comments

Being a teenager and having grown up in a household and a community where drinking alcohol is a big part of life, I understand this article on a deeper level. The five groups of factors that go into teen drinking and the way they are broken down help to understand what leads to teen drinking. I personally agree with all five factors because I know that one's peers have a major effect on what they do, how they act, and what they consume. I know on a personal lever that parental influence has a lot to do with the consumption of alcohol in teens. If a parent drinks themself, condones drinking for their child, or provides alcohol for their child, they are playing a huge told in the reason for the child drinking. They are responsible for the child and therefore responsible for the child's drinking. Community influence can be characterized as the way people act in the community and how that rubs off on a child and I saw a lot of that in my community growing up so I can relate to that and I know that other adolescents in my community could too. These are the categories that I can personally relate to the best but I understand how all five could be major factors surrounding the reasons for teen and adolescent drinking. You did a nice job explaining what kind of a person would be more likely to drink at a young age compared to the type of person that would be less likely to drink at a young age and why.

I can easily relate to this topic. I can't even count on my fingers and toes how many times I've been "talked" to about alcohol consumption. I know that there are a lot of factors that goes into teenage drinking, mainly their influence from family, friends, and community. My only question is why is teen alcoholism so much more of an issue than alcoholism in general? I get that alcohol damages the brain, and in your teenage years, your brain is still developing, but when it comes to brain development, most people's brains do not completely develop until their mid to late 20's. That's well enough over the drinking age. Why only focus on the younger people. Alcohol abuse affects everyone that uses it, not just teenagers. A 40 year-old person could drink beer for the first time and develop an addiction just as fast as an 18 year-old. I'm not saying that alcoholism isn't a problem with teens, I'm just saying that most people forget that it's also a problem with adults as well.

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