Introduction alcohol research paper

This can be particularly hazardous for kids and teens who have less problem-solving and decision-making experience. Long before your kids are presented with a chance to drink alcohol, you can increase the chances that they'll just say "no. Childhood is a time of learning and discovery, so it's important to encourage kids to ask questions, even ones that might be hard to answer.

Open, honest, age-appropriate communication now sets the stage for your kids to come to you later with other difficult topics or problems. Although 3- and 4-year-olds aren't ready to learn the facts about alcohol or other drugs, they start to develop the decision-making and problem-solving skills they will need later on. You can help them develop those skills in some simple ways. For instance, let toddlers choose their own clothing and don't worry if the choices don't match.

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This lets them know you think they're capable of making good decisions. Assign simple tasks and let kids know what a big help they are. And set a good example of the behavior that you want your kids to demonstrate. This is especially true in the preschool years when kids tend to imitate adults' actions as a way of learning. So, by being active, eating healthy, and drinking responsibly, parents teach their kids important lessons early on.

Kids this age still think and learn mostly by experience and don't have a good understanding of things that will happen in the future. So keep discussions about alcohol in the present tense and relate them to things that kids know and understand. For example, watching TV with your child can provide a chance to talk about advertising messages.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder: A Primer for Non-Clinicians

Ask about the ads you see and encourage kids to ask questions too. Kids are interested in how their bodies work, so this is a good time to talk about maintaining good health and avoiding substances that might harm the body. Talk about how alcohol hurts a person's ability to see, hear, and walk without tripping; it alters the way people feel; and it makes it hard to judge things like whether the water is too deep or if there's a car coming too close.

And it gives people bad breath and a headache! The later elementary school years are a crucial time in which you can influence your child's decisions about alcohol use. Kids at this age tend to love to learn facts, especially strange ones, and are eager to learn how things work and what sources of information are available to them. Research developed in recent years regarding the explicative factors of adolescents' consumption of alcohol and other drugs identifies several risk as well as protective factors 7 , such as: sociocultural e.

The different effects these factors can produce depend on individual characteristics, development phase and environment. Historical analysis reveals that prevention programs on the use of substances have been developed in the last decades based on the social influence model, including the development of personal and social competences and the use of one or more of the following components: knowledge on substances, resistance to social pressure, training of personal and social competences, correction of peers' perception on alcohol consumption, safe attitudes and expectancy regarding substances 9.

Prevention can be developed in diverse contexts and with specific groups. An organized approach is possible in the school context, involving a large number of children and adolescents at high-risk age to initiate substance consumption.

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Despite these advantages, school prevention in Portugal is still incipient, infrequent and dependent on the sensitiveness of teachers and support they ask to health local centers or other health institutions In a country like Portugal, where there is great social and cultural permissiveness to alcohol consumption, preventive efforts should focus on hating alcohol consumption through the development of safe expectancy regarding alcohol and personal and social abilities, which are essential to resist the pressure for the inopportune consumption of alcohol and responsible decision-making 9.

Health promotion in the school environment should be seen as an ongoing development process.

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For preventive interventions to be efficacious, they have to be based on scientific evidence, tailor-made to the target context and developed by professionals with specific knowledge on the health area to which education and health area relate. This quantitative descriptive-correlational study was guided by the following questions: what are the characteristics of alcohol consumption, knowledge and expectancy of 7 th , 8 th and 9 th -grade students at public schools in Coimbra?


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Are knowledge and expectancy related to students' consumption, occurrence of intoxication, age and gender? The sample included students from the 7 th , 8 th and 9 th grades in public schools in Coimbra, Portugal, both genders, After complying with formal and ethical recommendations, the instrument was applied to students from the 7 th , 8 th and 9 th grades, intermediate public education in Coimbra, Portugal, between March and April The questionnaire was distributed in class to all students whose educational responsible provided written authorization.

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However, a great variability was found in the analysis of the instrument factors. Statistical processing and used software. The following analyses were carried out: descriptive analyses that involved description of distribution of the study variables; Chi-square of the difference of proportions to evaluate association of categorical variables; Student's t-test to compare averages of continuous variables and because the AEQ-A is a dichotomous instrument, Kuder Richardson coefficient was used to evaluate its internal consistency. Most adolescents had already consumed alcohol Of those who reported consumption of alcohol, Regarding consumption patterns: 7.

Considering those who had already consumed alcohol, we verified that The circumstance of the first consumption was a festive occasion for The place of their first-time consumption was at home for As observed in Figure 1 , regarding adolescents' knowledge on alcohol, we verified that a high percentage of students incorrectly answered from 17 to 40 items in the questionnaire evaluating knowledge.

The average knowledge on alcohol of the youngest from 12 to 14 years of age was superior to the average knowledge of the oldest students more than 15 years of age. The influence of consumption expectancy was verified by the statistically significant difference found between two groups: those who had already consumed alcohol and those who had not. The large majority of students from the 7 th , 8 th and 9 th grades in the study sample, between 12 and 18 years old, average [SD] These findings confirm results already presented in national research reports on the life styles of Portuguese adolescents 4 and also in the dissemination of research exclusively addressing adolescents' alcohol consumption In fact, not only data on general consumption seem to be consistent with these findings, but also partial data related to different variables that characterize the phenomenon, reinforcing findings of other studies 4, These results reflect changes in consumption patterns and modes, with increased consumption of hard liquor to the detriment of beer, and also increased frequency of intoxication with similar behavior among boys and girls.

Knowledge showed by adolescents in this study reflects important gaps. On the other hand, a lack of knowledge related to scientific knowledge, associated to the pharmacological effects of alcohol, action and consequences on the organism emerges, for example: they do not know that "the alcohol contained in alcoholic beverages is ethyl" This lack of knowledge, especially regarding the metabolism of alcohol and its relation with the performance of a person under its influence is particularly dangerous.

In fact, mistakes like - believing that "the effect alcohol causes on people depends only on the quantity consumed" The relation between knowledge on alcohol and its consumption is complex.

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On the one hand, we verified that adolescents who had more knowledge about alcohol were those who did not report intoxication. The influence of consumption expectancy was verified by the statistically significant difference found between two groups: those who had already consumed alcohol and those who had not. The large majority of students from the 7 th , 8 th and 9 th grades in the study sample, between 12 and 18 years old, average [SD] These findings confirm results already presented in national research reports on the life styles of Portuguese adolescents 4 and also in the dissemination of research exclusively addressing adolescents' alcohol consumption In fact, not only data on general consumption seem to be consistent with these findings, but also partial data related to different variables that characterize the phenomenon, reinforcing findings of other studies 4, These results reflect changes in consumption patterns and modes, with increased consumption of hard liquor to the detriment of beer, and also increased frequency of intoxication with similar behavior among boys and girls.

Knowledge showed by adolescents in this study reflects important gaps. On the other hand, a lack of knowledge related to scientific knowledge, associated to the pharmacological effects of alcohol, action and consequences on the organism emerges, for example: they do not know that "the alcohol contained in alcoholic beverages is ethyl" This lack of knowledge, especially regarding the metabolism of alcohol and its relation with the performance of a person under its influence is particularly dangerous.

In fact, mistakes like - believing that "the effect alcohol causes on people depends only on the quantity consumed" The relation between knowledge on alcohol and its consumption is complex. On the one hand, we verified that adolescents who had more knowledge about alcohol were those who did not report intoxication. Thus, this knowledge is presented as a protection factor. On the other hand, no statistically significant differences were found between level of knowledge on alcohol and its consumption.

Another relevant aspect is that, while one would expect that knowledge increases with age, this fact is not confirmed since the youngest 12 to 14 years of age are those who presented better knowledge on alcohol. This apparent loss of knowledge due to age should be considered taking into account several aspects.

The Causes That Lead Teenagers to Drug and Alcohol Abuse

The reported results do not emerge from a cohort study and, even though a generational change cannot be foreseen considering the short time in which this investigation occurs, results present the possibility of other external interferences. Another explanation should consider that intoxication occurs more frequently in this age range more than 14 years of age.

Thus, there is a hypothesis that knowledge is occasionally altered based on past experiences. Hence, part of the statements chosen by these adolescents might depend on their need to construct rationales that do not devalue their behavior, so as to not cause cognitive dissonance. The potential role - direct and indirect - knowledge on alcohol plays in its consumption is an issue that has deserved considerable empirical attention of scholars and generated some conclusions, with indisputable practical relevance related to whether to include knowledge on alcohol in intervention programs.

Research has showed that if, on the one hand, knowledge per se is not sufficient to ensure responsible decision-making in terms of consumption; on the other hand, it is necessary to understand the phenomenon, which should be included in any health education intervention. These conclusions highlight that failure of traditional informative strategies should not disqualify the "knowledge" component in current preventive programs.


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Finally, the results of this study are very relevant because they show that expectations regarding alcohol are strong discriminative factors of consumption. Thus, adolescents who consumed alcohol and those who reported intoxication presented higher levels of expectancy on alcohol, in the global score as well as in all factors of positive expectancy. These results are in agreement with several empirical studies that show that expectancy on alcohol is a mediating factor of consumption No differences were found between genders in terms of expectancy, both in the global score and in the majority of factors, which reflects the current tendency of converging behavior between girls and boys.

The statistically significant differences found between genders for Factor III - improved cognitive and motor abilities - higher for boys, and for Factor VII - relaxation and tension reduction - higher for girls, reflect some developmental specificity. Some studies in the area appoint that boys have a higher tendency to externalize and girls to internalize Thus, boys tend to view alcohol as a stimulus for action, while girls see it as a component that promotes relaxation.

It is also worth mentioning that we consistently verified, except for Factor VI increased arousal , that the oldest adolescents were those who presented the highest positive expectancy regarding alcohol, while the youngest were those who presented the highest negative expectancy. In fact, several researchers appoint the potential role age plays in expectancy regarding alcohol and highlight that expectancy on alcohol increases with age and becomes more homogeneous and stable Over more than two decades, several transversal and longitudinal studies evidenced clarifying results on the power of expectancy on alcohol as a predictor of alcohol consumption onset and problems related to alcohol in adolescents.

Hence, in the light of these findings, we consider it essential not only to include expectancy on intervention programs in the area, but also that such programs are implemented in an appropriate developmental phase, before expectations become stable and therefore more resistant to change. The results of this study reveal that the majority of adolescents in the sample had already consumed alcohol, although regular consumption is not common among adolescents from the 7 th , 8 th and 9 th grades. However, about one fourth of the participants had already been intoxicated at least once and reported the consumption of more than three drinks in the same occasion.

The majority of adolescents initiated alcohol consumption at home with family, in festive occasions.