Binge Drinking: Teens Strongly Influenced By Partner's Friends' Drinking Habits
Binge drinking in teens may be strongly influenced by the drinking habits of the friends of their romantic partners, a new study indicates.
Partners’ friends appear to have more influence on the teen’s drinking than the habits of the teen's own friends or partner.
For the study, U.S. researchers analyzed national data collected from 449 heterosexual couples who were in grades 7 to 12 in the mid-1990s.
The study’s lead author is Derek Kreager, an associate professor of crime, law, and justice at Pennsylvania State University.
"Dating someone whose friends are big drinkers is more likely to cause an adolescent to engage in dangerous drinking behaviors than are the drinking habits of the adolescent's own friends or romantic partner," Kreager said in a journal news release.
"This applies to both binge drinking and drinking frequency,” he pointed out, reports HealthDay.
For instance, they found that teens whose romantic partner's friends were heavy drinkers were more than twice as likely to binge drink than adolescents with friends or romantic partners who were heavy drinkers.
"The friends of a partner are likely to be very different from the adolescent and his or her friends and they might also be, at least a little, different from the partner," Kreager said.