-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults are more
likely to be heavy drinkers if they took their first drink of
alcohol at an early age and also had to cope with stressful life
events, a new study suggests.
The finding comes from a study that included 166 women and 140
men in Germany who were asked about when they started drinking,
whether they'd encountered any stressful life events in the
previous three years, what daily hassles they might have had in the
previous months, and what their drinking behaviors were at age 22.
Participants also provided details about the amount of alcohol they
consumed and how often they drank in the month before they were
"We found that the impact of stressful life events on drinking behavior depends on the age at first drink," study first author Dorothea Blomeyer, a senior researcher at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, said in a news release from Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study has been published online and will be in the journal's June issue.
"The earliest [age at first drink] in our sample was 8 years; about half of the study participants had initiated alcohol drinking before they were 14 years old," Blomeyer said. "The earlier they start with alcohol use, the stronger the association between life stress and drinking in youth adults. We found this interaction effect only for the variable 'total amount of alcohol,' not for the number of drinking days. This fits to the pattern of stress-related drinking, which is characterized by a higher number of drinks, and not so much by frequent drinking."
It's likely that people who start drinking at a very young age
"learn to use alcohol in stressful situations during adolescence
because research indicates that, during adolescence, drinking is
particularly rewarding under stressful circumstances," Blomeyer
However, whether some events have a greater effect on alcohol
use than others remains unclear. "In our study, every single event
was counted equally to form the sum score, so the question has to
be answered by following research," she said.
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has
young adult drinking.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.