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Lower Drinking Age Tied To High School Dropout Rate

According to a new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, lowering the legal drinking age limit to eighteen could result in higher high school dropout rates. At present, the legal drinking age in the US is 21.

drinking age

Image: HangoverOrg

Other countries, however, have drinking ages as low as 16. Pundits in the US have been debating lowering the drinking age to 18. New research conducted by Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies may add fuel to the fire.

The researchers discovered more than a potential connection between a lower drinking age and dropout rate; they also learned lowering the drinking age impacts different genders and races differently. Their work also demonstrated that a lower drinking age has a more significant impact on female drinkers as approximately five to eighteen percent are apt to drop out.

Additionally, Blacks are reportedly five to nineteen percent more apt drop out with a lower drinking age. Hispanics were six percent more likely to drop out. In general, alcohol use is linked to four to 13 percent of all high school dropouts.

The investigative team learned that the presence of students who can legally purchase alcohol in a high school results in an increased access to alcohol for students under the age of 17. This leads to higher dropout rates.

The study data not only reveals that lowering the legal drinking age will allow easier access to alcohol to those students who are underage, it also indicates that underage drinkers can find other ways to get alcohol. For example, the study reveals that underage drinkers on college campuses can acquire alcohol easily through legal-aged drinkers. The study concluded that regardless of the risk of familial alcohol use disorders, setting a specific age limit can encourage safer drinking behavior.

Lower Drinking Age Tied To High School Dropout Rate

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About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.