Teen Alcholism Essay, Research Paper
Adolescents face many problems and situations that cause them to turn to alcohol abuse. Some adolescents may consume alcohol due to peer pressure, personal and family problem. The most significant cause could be children who are genetically influenced. In other words, children may have a family history of alcoholism. Children who are influenced by alcoholic relatives may tend to follow in their footsteps.
Peer pressure is a major part of adolescent social reasoning. A large part of adolescent drinkers are influenced to drink by peer pressure. Adolescents want to look appealing and be accepted by their peers. This can cause a problem from primary and secondary education up to higher education. Drinking poses a major problem in universities across America primarily due to peer influences. It can be inferred that many college students drink to get away from their pressures and stress.
In addition, to peers influence, they can also put adolescent at higher risk factors. Among adolescents who are not problem drinkers, higher risk and lower protection increase the likelihood of becoming a problem drinker in subsequent years and of making that transition earlier. (Costa, Jessor & Turbin, 1999, p. 487). The groups with the highest cumulative hazard are the group of high risk, low cumulative hazard. Mostly peers bring about risk factors. These are such influences as low self-esteem, friends who drink, high stress, hopelessness, and low expectation for success. (Costa, Jessor & Turbin,1999, p.480). All of those factors may simultaneously or individually affect adolescents. Many students are affected by their peers because they try to fit in the so called in crowd , when in fact their endangering their own lives.
Some adolescents have different motives for drinking at different stages of adolescence. Coping motives significantly predict alcohol misuse during later waves (Bradizza, Reifman & Barnes,1999, p.496). The early years are indicating the early stages of adolescence. While in later years of adolescence there is more of a coping motive. Through the Cox analysis, it predicts that both coping and social motives strongly predicted alcohol misuse. On the other hand, the high score motives shows that it is a stronger predictor of alcohol misuse than coping motives (Bradizza, Reifman & Barnes,1999, p.496). This can be due to the fact that at later stages of adolescence, teenagers want to relate to their peers more. It is important for them to be similar to their peers in order to be accepted. While in early years social acceptance is not a major priority to them.
The most significant factor to adolescent drinking can be familial alcoholism. Children from high-risk families are said to drink at an earlier age that children from a low-risk families (Hill & Yuan, 1999, p.14.) High-risk families consist of parents who are alcoholics or members if the extended families are alcoholics. Such as uncles, aunts, grandparents, or cousins. Families of low-risk have a higher cumulative survival probability. The families of high-risk have a lower cumulative survival probability. Hill & Yuan (1999) discuss that high-risk children not only drink earlier, but also drink more (p.12.) All of these concepts can be predicted from the families alcoholic influences. Offspring of alcoholic are typically considered to be at greater risk for developing alcohol problems due to the presence of alcoholism in one or more members of the nuclear or extended family (Hill & Huxing, 1999, p8.)
Parents can place adolescents at lower protection factors. Parents can influence adolescents by contributing low protection factors. Costa, Jessor & Turbin stated protection factors as participating in activities, religious factors and direct social and personal control (p.481.) By parents influencing children to join clubs at school, around the neighborhood, go to church, or just be actively involved, it can cause adolescents to turn from any alcoholic influences and face positive influences.
In addition, it might be expected that children who come from families with a history of alcoholism would have a problem with drinking as well. It may be early in life or it may be later on in their life. If they see it from their parents or other relatives on a daily basis most likely they are going to think it is socially and morally acceptable. This may increase the chances of children becoming alcoholics when they get older. Reifman, Barnes, Dinctcheff, Farell & Uhleg stated adolescent friends may regulate each other s drinking in a manner similar to parental socialization, adolescent processes are likely to be less formal (p.312.) This signifies that peers also link to family pressure on adolescent alcoholism. It can also be inferred that as a child gets older observing their alcoholic parents behavior it my lead to their future addiction. Studies show that the descendants of alcoholics are at higher risk factor.
Children of alcoholic often believe they are all alone, that no other families have these problems or that it is up to them to cure the parent. A child may take the blame for a parent s alcoholism or the parent may blame the child. As a result, many children of alcoholics not only feel unloved, but unlovable. Some of them suffer physical or sexual abuse, which reinforces this feeling. And because life at home is full of disappointments, broken promises and lies, the child learns not to trust, not to get too close to anyone and not to communicate in healthy ways.
There are ways in which society can help with the problem of teen alcoholism. Our educational system should take out more time to educate students on alcoholism. They should formulate workshops for parents and children to attend. If students from the early years were educated on the consequences of alcoholism they will have a better understanding of its irrelevant purpose. This will ensure the awareness, the laws that prohibit minors from purchasing liquor should be enhanced. Liquor stores should be monitored closely on whom they sell alcohol to. Strict punishment should be inflicted on storeowners and people who sell or purchase liquor for minors. If this was taken into more consideration then a lot of students would not be allowed to encounter this serious addiction and even fatal deaths.
In conclusion, the most significant cause of alcoholism in adolescents is caused by parental influence. It can also be inferred that alcoholism can be inherited. Some adolescents are found to be also influenced by peer pressure.
Many precautions can be taken to prevent this addition such as familial awareness, more education on alcohol abuse, strict law enforcement on alcohol distribution. This issue is becoming an epidemic that needs to come to an end. If these factors are enforced it may lead to a decrease in adolescent alcohol abuse.