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This research summary illustrates
common mistakes that addiction researchers and journalists make. These
mistakes promote public ignorance and harm families. See my explanation after the
summary. The hilights and links are mine. - P. K. Gerlach, MSW
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A significant number of children
are already drinking by middle school, suggesting that
prevention needs to
start in the elementary grades, researchers conclude in a new report.
In their study of more than
4,000 sixth-graders at Chicago schools, 17 percent of the children had used
alcohol in the past year. Those students who'd started drinking were also
more likely than their peers to have a range of problems, such as getting
into fights, shoplifting or getting into trouble at school.
The findings, reported in the
journal Health Education and Behavior, suggest that
alcohol prevention needs to start in
grade school, researchers
And such prevention efforts
should include parents, according to lead researcher Dr. Keryn Pasch, of the
University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.
One way to do that, she told
Reuters Health, would be for school-based programs to include take-home
assignments or other activities that involve parents. The study included an
ethnically diverse sample of sixth-graders at 61 Chicago schools; 713, or
just over 17 percent, said they had drunk alcohol in the past year.