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Affluent teenagers at risk of alcohol abuse

Published on 25/06/2010
Teenagers from better-off families are risking health problems in later life due to a "drinking culture" emerging in affluent areas.

That is according to a study from the National Centre for Social Research which found that an increased tendency among well-off white pupils to have tried alcohol at home is leading them to be drawn into underage drinking at school.

Researchers discovered that schools which contained fewer students from ethnic minorities and with a smaller number of pupils receiving free school meals had a higher proportion of teenagers who drank.

The study shows that more than half (55 per cent) of young people have tried alcohol by age 14 and 85 per cent of teenagers have had a drink by the time they are 17.

Young white people are most likely to try alcohol, followed by mixed-race teenagers and those from black Caribbean backgrounds.

"These results may indicate the presence of aspects of a 'drinking culture' in some schools, whereby having a higher proportion of individual pupils who drink makes it more likely that those pupils who have characteristics that make them less likely to drink (eg being from minority ethnic groups) are also more likely to try alcohol," said the researchers' report.

According to government statistics, the proportion of school pupils aged 11-15 who have never drunk alcohol has risen in recent years, from 39 per cent in 2003 to 48 per cent in 2008.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Health
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