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This research summary supports several premises
in this nonprofit Break the Cycle! Web site. See my comments after the
summary. The hilights and links are mine.
- Peter K. Gerlach, MSW
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A significant number of children
are already drinking by middle school, suggesting that
prevention needs to
start in the elementary grades, researchers conclude in a new report.
In their study of more than
4,000 sixth-graders at Chicago schools, 17 percent of the children had used
alcohol in the past year. Those students who'd started drinking were also
more likely than their peers to have a range of problems, such as getting
into fights, shoplifting or getting into trouble at school.
The findings, reported in the
journal Health Education and Behavior, suggest that
alcohol prevention needs
to start in grade school, researchers say.
And such prevention efforts
should include parents, according to lead researcher Dr. Keryn Pasch, of the
University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.
One way to do that, she told
Reuters Health, would be for school-based programs to include take-home
assignments or other activities that involve parents. The study included an
ethnically diverse sample of sixth-graders at 61 Chicago schools; 713, or
just over 17 percent, said they had drunk alcohol in the past year.
These children, Pasch and her
colleagues found, were more likely than their peers to have a range of risk
factors for early drinking -- such as delinquent or violent behavior, a lack
of adult supervision out of school, and having friends who drank alcohol.
"I think it is important for
parents to be aware that kids may start drinking at an early age, and that
it is important to start discussions about alcohol use early," Pasch said.
One way to broach to topic, she suggested, is to look for "teachable
moments," such as when drinking is portrayed on television.
It's also important, Pasch said,
for parents to not only tell their children not to drink, but to also teach
them how to refuse alcohol when it's offered to them.
Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited. Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All rights
This brief research summary proposes that...
young kids' (in Chicago) using alcohol is associated with
other socially-harmful behaviors
young kids use of alcohol (drugs) can be prevented by parental
and school teaching (instruction);
the drug and behavioral "risk factors" are
with the child, not their family adults.
The title of this
article implies that school teachers share responsibility with parents for
educating kids about he risks of using alcohol.
The research and article do not
suggest that parents'
behaviors (e.g. using chemicals themselves) are as or more
important than "teaching" self-nurturance. It also omits the idea that
parents are responsible for promoting healthy self-respect and self-care in
each child, vs. the prevailing American norm of shame and self-neglect.
The study and
article didn't compare the results with kids' behaviors in other rural and
urban settings. The research apparently made no attempt to evaluate the
socio-economic conditions of the study-kids' parents and families.
A related trend is the recent increase of excessive weight and
obesity in American adults and kids. Fats, sugars,
and simple carbohydrates ("junk foods") can be as
as other mood-altering drugs.
Premise - kids' drinking alcohol and being overweight
are symptoms of the root
problem - American citizens and government passively condoning parents being so
they conceive children before being able to fill their kids' developmental needs effectively. If
you agree, see these three practical ways
to correct this.
Also see these...
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