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Alcoholism In Young Age Essay Research Paper

Alcoholism In Young Age Essay, Research Paper Alcoholism and alcohol abuse is a growing problem in our society. Daily, people are injured and killed in alcohol-related accidents and this has an effect on

Alcoholism In Young Age Essay, Research Paper

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse is a growing problem in our society. Daily, people

are injured and killed in alcohol-related accidents and this has an effect on

each and every person as a result of these occurrences. Whether we are

personally involved or have directly suffered from the activities of someone who

is under the influence of alcohol, we all suffer from the negative consequences

of alcohol. Since we have those who choose to abuse these privileges we need to

develop consequences for them. By learning what leads people to drink alcohol,

and how this affects their lives, we can then determine what actions need to be

taken to help remove ourselves from our ever-increasing attraction to alcohol.

Because the abuse of alcohol often begins with adolescents and young adults,

most research is based around them. At this particular time in life we hope to

find out why these young adults choose to drink, and what motivates them to

drink. Michael and Rebecca C. Windle, in their research, were able to show

several reasons that provided incentives for adolescents to consume alcohol.

Using a written survey, it was determined that the high-school students being

studied used alcohol to cope with problems in their lives, including

"task-oriented", "emotion-oriented", and "avoidance

coping (Windle & Windle, 1996, p. 551)." The only major discrepancies

in results between the sexes became obvious when it was shown by Windle and

Windle that girls were more likely to use alcohol for avoidance and

emotion-oriented coping than were boys, but the boys were more likely to have

alcohol problems (Windle & Windle, 1996). Also found was that adolescents

drank less often for social reasons than for the aforementioned coping reasons (Windle

& Windle, 1996). However, coping motives were responsible for an increased

consumption of alcohol (Windle & Windle, 1996). A surprising result of this

study was that the students drank more frequently as a result of positive daily

events than negative daily events (Windle & Windle, 1996). This suggests

that while young people do drink because they are unhappy with certain events in

their lives, they are more likely to drink because something good has happened

to them recently. Alcoholism is also thought to be passed genetically from

parents to their children. By comparing males with a family history of

alcoholism to males with a history without alcoholism, we can determine the

relationship between genetics, alcoholism, and alcoholic children. While

frequency and quantity of alcoholic consumption of children of alcoholics (COA’s)

and non-COA’s were similar, COA’s were more than twice as likely to be

diagnostically determined alcoholics than were the non-COA’s (Finnet al., 1997).

This shows that one can drink as much as an alcoholic, but not actually be an

alcoholic one’s self. This may contribute to a lack of social understanding of

alcoholism, as we tend to think of an alcoholic as someone who frequently drinks

alcohol, when, instead, the definition of an alcoholic must be changed to

someone genetically pre-disposed to alcoholism or addiction. Another approach to

researching alcoholism was exercised by Sher, Wood, Wood and Raskin. They showed

the differences between expectancies related to alcohol of COA’s and non-COA’s

over a four-year period of time. What was found was that COA’s drank much more

frequently to reduce tension, become more social, make activities more

interesting and perform better than non-COA’s did (Sher et al., 1996). This

could result from a more familiar approach to alcohol, as it presumably had an

effect on the early years of each young adult. At the same time, there was a

general decrease in drinking for these reasons from the time the study began to

its completion four years later (Sher et al., 1996). This research gives us

important insight into reasons for alcohol use, and could provide better

treatment for alcoholic COA’s than is currently being provided. Somewhat similar

to the above research, was that of Chassin, Curran, Hussong and Colder. These

four psychologists were able to show a non-genetic relationship between fathers,

their adolescent children, and peers of the adolescents. They found that COA’s

"substance use growth curve started at a significantly higher level than it

did for non-COA’s… (Chassin et al., 1996, p. 74)" meaning that not only

did the adolescents use alcohol (among other substances), but they used more

than did their non-COA peers. Also, when a COA was combined with drug-using

peers, the adolescent was even more likely to have a significantly higher use of

alcohol (Chassin et al., 1996). This research also shows that children of

alcoholic mothers also "showed steeper substance use growth (Chassin et

al.,1996, p. 74)" than non-COA’s but there generally was not a large effect

on the adolescents. A hypothesis offered by Chassin Curran, Hussong and Colder

on reasons for increased alcohol use was the following: In terms of the

parenting pathway, both maternal and paternal alcoholism were related to

decreased paternal monitoring (although the relation was only marginally

significant for fathers’ alcoholism). In turn, adolescents whose fathers

reported lower levels of moitoring were more likely to associate with drug-using

peers, and these peer associations predicted increases in substance use over

time. Adolescents whose fathers reported less monitoring of their behavior also

had higher initial substance use levels (Chassin et al., 1996, p. 75). From

this, we can deduce that parental alcoholism is not the only cause of increased

alcohol abuse among adolescents, but rather the additional aspects that come

along with having an alcoholic parent. These aspects may include spending less

time with one’s child and external expressions of alcoholism (violence,

depression, etc) that may cause a child to deal as infrequently as possible with

the alcoholic parent. A great deal of research is going into studying the

effects and consequences of alcoholism and alcohol use today. This is necessary

to provide rehabilitation and other help to alcoholics, as from research, an

addiction is not necessarily created, but born. We can all benefit, emotionally,

financially and otherwise from a better understanding of alcoholism.

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