Factors that Contribute to Alcohol Abuse among Adolescents

1000 Words4 Pages
Alcohol consumption among young people, although it has seen a decline in recent years, is still a noteworthy contemporary issue. It should be acknowledged that it is a problem that concerns society as a whole and not just individuals or small portions of the population. Many scholars have pointed out that it is not only youth who have problems within the family who engage in illegal drinking but it is a problem that crosses all socioeconomic and ethnic populations. Therefore, the reasons that make children and adolescents succumb to this negative and harmful behavior are worthy of examination. The goal of this report is to identify important factors that drive adolescents to consume alcohol. Though progress is being made, underage drinking remains a persistent problem. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 9.3 million Americans between ages 12-20 report current alcohol consumption. The National Research Council, reports that a significant number of 12 to 14 year olds are consuming alcohol. While those teenagers who drink usually don’t do it as often as adults, they tend to drink more excessively (Bonnie & O’Connel, 52). The small percentage of youth who drink heavily consume the vast majority of the alcohol imbibed by underage drinkers. One of the factors that can contribute to the problem of underage drinking is accessibility of alcohol. It is relatively easy for minors to obtain alcohol, and the percentage of those who can get it without much difficulty grows considerably with age. Nearly 90 percent of twelfth graders feel that they have easy access to alcohol (Johnston, O’Malley, Bachman, & Schulenberg). Thus, by the senior year of high school it no longer feels like a forbidden fruit, it is ev... ... middle of paper ... ... American College Health, 43(3), 99-113. Print Steinberg, L. & Cauffman, E. (2000). “(Im)maturity of judgment in adolescence: physchosocial factors in adolescent decision making.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 18, 741-760. PDF file. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013. Zucker, R.A.; Wong, M.M.; Puttler, L.I.; and Fitzgerald, H.E. Resilience and vulnerability among sons of alcoholics: Relationship to developmental outcomes between early childhood and adolescence. In: Luthar, S.S., ed. Resilience and Vulnerability: Adaptation in the Context of Childhood Adversities. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. pp. 76–103.
Open Document