Are Children Curious of Alcohol?

Do you known that children are much curious about liquor and tobacco, more than one might have thought. A recent study by University of Michigan researchers showed that one in ten pre-teen children are much curious about using alcohol or tobacco products. Apart from this, one in 50 says they are curious about using marijuana.

In the study, about three per cent of the nearly 12,000 nine- ten years old surveyed say that they already have a friend who uses one of these substances. These children said that they were much more likely to be curious about trying alcohol or tobacco and other nicotine-containing products themselves.

The Drug and Alcohol Dependence Reports published the study.


The study also found that 35 per cent of the parents said their kids might have easy access to alcohol at home, while smaller percentages said the same about tobacco (7%) or marijuana (3%). About 25 per cent of the parents noted out that they have not set rules for their pre-teen children about whether they are allowed to use these substances.


In the study, the researchers noted much difference by gender, race/ethnicity and family income. They found that boys were more likely to be curious about substances than girls were. Black parents were much more likely than other parents to have a rule that their children may not use alcohol, tobacco or marijuana, and low-income parents were slightly more likely than those with middle or high incomes to have such a rule.

Meanwhile, pre-teens whose parents made $100,000 or more per year were much more likely to be curious about alcohol, and their parents were more likely to say it was readily available in the home. Lower-income children, with family incomes of $50,000 or less, were slightly more likely to be curious about nicotine and marijuana, and to have it available in the home. Across all groups, kids were more likely to be curious about alcohol or nicotine if their parents said that these substances are readily available in the home.

The same was true for nicotine curiosity among kids whose parents had not made specific rules about their use of tobacco or other nicotine-containing substances


Lead author Meghan Martz said that the study could help future efforts to tailor preventive messages and measures, and identify children most at risk of future problems. Martz is a research assistant professor specializing in the development of substance use disorders in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.

She said that they were quite surprised by the percentage of parents – more than 25 per cent of the entire group — who had not made any explicit rules about substance use for children this age. “Compared to all other race/ethnicity groups, Black parents were the most likely to have made rules against substance use, suggesting this subgroup in particular may be using early protective strategies,” Martz said.

She and her U-M colleagues are part of the national team studying thousands of children and parents over many years through a national project called the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study.


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