Teen Drinking found to be fueled by Aggression

The life of a teenager can be very frustrating at times – not yet fully an adult but no longer a child either. Teenagers are often expected to shoulder more responsibilities, but may resent still not being given the freedoms of an adult. It can also be a very confusing time, because during the teen years they go through a long list of changes, both physically and emotionally. And for the first time they have to start making some serious life choices about their future. These are also the years when teens are sometimes rebellious, because they want to push the limits, driven out of curiosity and a need for excitement.

Alcoholism And Aggression In Teens

Studies have shown that teens who show more aggression are more likely to develop problems with alcohol. Other issues that teens may suffer from like depression or anxiety do not seem to raise the likelihood of a teen becoming an alcoholic. The reason that teens may become more aggressive is a complicated issue, with a variety of triggers and factors that may contribute such as:

  • Genetics
  • Home environment
  • Divorce
  • Fractured social relations
  • Peer influence

Girls More Likely To Be Aggressive Than Boys

Another surprising find in the study by The Journal Of Adolescence is that contrary to popular belief girls were more likely to be aggressive than boys. Teenage girls whose families undergo a divorce are also more likely to develop problems with aggression, and leads to the theory that anger about family issues can cause teens to act out in unhealthy ways. But other factors like peer influence and genetics should also be taken into consideration, especially because alcoholism is known to run in families, and that teens take their social cues and activities based around what their peers want to do.

Negative Consequences Of Alcoholism In Teens

Unfortunately, teens who develop alcoholism because of aggression are more likely to suffer from dangerous, sometimes long-term consequences. People who start drinking at such early ages, are more likely to hamper their mental and emotional development, fall behind in school, and derail the beginnings of what could be a promising future. Parents need to take serious and pro-active steps to curb their children’s drinking, because what could be the result is a lifelong problem with alcoholism when started at such an early age. Many of the teens who self-reported drinking also admit that they drink excessive amounts, which can lead to other health problems.

Drinking Also Encourages Aggression

Besides aggressive teenagers drinking more alcohol, their aggression is fuelled by alcohol. Many violent incidents happen when someone is under the influence of alcohol, because their inhibitions are lessened and their ability to reason is dulled by drinking. Then teens are more likely to act in more rash and violent ways, without clearly thinking through what the consequences are. In serious cases, teens may even seriously hurt themselves or someone else by getting into car accidents or some other types of physical altercation.

Fixing Interpersonal Relationships May Be Key

Because of the high impact that divorce plays in teen aggression, the key to curbing alcoholism that results is counseling to fix the familial relationships. Many teens who turn to alcohol, often are fuelled by anger because of feelings of abandonment, loss of control, and estrangement from their parents. By taking the efforts to fix these relationships with professional help, a teen may be able to find healthier ways to cope with feelings of anger, and then be able to curb the drinking. Parents should also seek to help their teens find other ways to manage their feelings of anger and helplessness. By starting the counseling at young ages this will give the teens the tools to avoid a life marred by alcoholism.

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