Troubling mix: Alcohol and elementary school kids
The researcher's conclusions are startling --- and included in a recently published study ---
"... The percent of children who have used alcohol increases with age, and doubles between grades four and six. The largest jump in rates occurs between grades five and six," according to John E. Donovan, an associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Children are drinking, and our concern with underage drinking needs to start in elementary school, not in high school."
Donovan is the author of a study, "Really Underage Drinkers: The Epidemiology of Children's Alcohol Use in the United States," which was published this month in Prevention Science magazine.
For his study, Donovan reviewed national and statewide surveys done during the past 15 years and concluded that "among typical 4th graders, 10% have already had more than a sip of alcohol and 7% have had a drink in the past year. While the numbers are small in the fourth grade, the survey shows that the percent of children who have used alcohol increases with age, and doubles between grades four and six," according to a press release recently issued by the Society of Prevention Research.
"... The numbers are still alarming because of the connection between early alcohol consumption and negative outcomes later during both adolescents and young adulthood," Donovan adds.
For more on the study, click here.