According to a study published online in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, children who taste alcohol before they reach sixth grade are reportedly more inclined to begin regularly drinking once they are in high school. A research group at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island also discovered that kids who tried alcohol at an early age were actually four times given to becoming intoxicated before they enter high school.
The investigative team studied information on 561 middle-school students in Rhode Island. They were observed for a total of three years–between sixth and ninth grade. The youngsters were interviewed numerous times throughout every year regarding their use of tobacco, marijuana, alcohol and additional drugs.
Kristina Jackson, co-author on the study, told LiveScience “Many of the kids in our study reported that parents – either knowingly or not – are a source of alcohol.”
Their research revealed that by the time the children reached sixth grade nearly 30 percent of them had tasted alcohol that wasn’t included in a religious rite or holiday. The majority of the subjects had taken their first taste of alcohol before they turned 7 and was the result of a mother and/or father offering a sip of their own adult beverage at home.
Approximately 26 percent of those participants also had an entire drink before they reached ninth grade. Nine percent had been intoxicated one or more times. Just six percent of the subjects that had not tried alcohol at a young age had an entire alcoholic beverage before they entered high school and only two percent had been intoxicated.
Jackson stated: “We need to be very careful not to assume that early alcohol consumption will somehow protect children or teach them how to drink safely. Our findings underscore the importance of advising parents to provide clear, consistent messages about the unacceptability of alcohol consumption for youth,” concluding “Younger teens and tweens may be unable to understand the difference between drinking a sip of alcohol and drinking one or more drinks.”
Kids Tasting Alcohol Results In Early Drinking