Highly Impulsive Teens More Prone to Drink Heavily - Part 2 | Drug Rehab Columbus OH
In a study published in Addiction, a team of researchers from the University of Liverpool examined almost 300 12- and 13-year-old children. They wanted to study the connection between high levels of impulsivity and future risks for dangerously heavy alcohol consumption.
Specific aspects indicating a lack of impulse control were the participants’ degree of participating in risky behaviors, their incapacity to delay short-term gratification for long-term rewards, and the general inability to regulate impulsive urges. For two years, the researchers re-tested the study participants against these traits about once every six months.
When the study concluded, the children that had relatively high impulsivity test scores were between the ages of 12 and 13. This age group has a much greater chance of drinking heavily at the ages of 14 and 15 than children who scored lower. The children with the higher scores also have a greater chance of developing problems with abuse and possibly dependence. This is an especially critical finding for Great Britain. Alcohol consumption rises sharply between the ages of 12 and 15 in the United Kingdom.
One crucial aspect of the study’s findings is an increased understanding between heavy alcohol consumption and impulsive behavior in teenagers. There have been other studies that have connected a lack of impulse control and alcohol use in teenagers. However, no study had singled out the direction of that connection - meaning whether or not impulse control, or lack thereof, leads to alcohol use or alcohol use leads to impulsivity.
The authors of this study examined the different relationship between these two factors. They concluded that alcohol consumption among teenagers does not appear to increase the odds for them lacking impulse control. However, it shows the opposite correlation. It appears that the presence of a high degree of impulsivity can ignite future heavy alcohol use at an early age.
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