Aggressive behaviour increases adolescent drinking, depression doesn't

August 6, 2014

Adolescents who behave aggressively are more likely to drink alcohol and in larger quantities than their peers, according to a recent study completed in Finland. Depression and anxiety, on the other hand, were not linked to increased alcohol use. The study investigated the association between psychosocial problems and alcohol use among 4074 Finnish 13- to 18-year-old adolescents. The results were published in Journal of Adolescence.

The results indicate that smoking and attention problems also increase the probability of alcohol use. Furthermore, among girls, early menarche and parental divorce are also associated with alcohol use. The study found to be more common in girls than in boys, which is a novel result.

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

Out of all the study participants, 60% reported to use alcohol. Already among 15-year-olds, more than 50% reported to use alcohol. No significant differences between the alcohol use of boys and girls were found. The proportion of adolescents who use alcohol has not grown in comparison to earlier studies; however, many adolescents consume high amounts of alcohol - and even amounts that exceed the risk levels. Alcohol use that begins early in adolescence can increase the probability of mental health problems and dependence, and be detrimental to brain development.

Explore further: Gender differences in risk pathways for adolescent substance abuse and early adult alcoholism

More information: Petri Kivimäki, Virve Kekkonen, Hannu Valtonen, Tommi Tolmunen, Kirsi Honkalampi, Ulrich Tacke, Jukka Hintikka, Soili M. Lehto, Eila Laukkanen, "Alcohol use among adolescents, aggressive behaviour, and internalizing problems," Journal of Adolescence, Volume 37, Issue 6, August 2014, Pages 945-951, ISSN 0140-1971, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2014.06.011.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Some youth football drills riskier than others

August 23, 2016

Nearly three quarters of the football players in the U.S. are less than 14 years old. But amid growing concern about concussion risk in football, the majority of the head-impact research has focused on college and professional ...

Babies often put to sleep in unsafe positions

August 15, 2016

(HealthDay)—Despite decades of warnings from the "Back to Sleep" campaign, many parents are still putting their babies to sleep in ways that raise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a new study finds.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.