According to Windle et al. (2009) adolescents between the ages of 10 and 15 are beginning to consume alcohol. Adolescents are going through puberty at this stage. This means that they are experiencing greater emotional mood swings, greater emotions when dealing with emotional events, and tend to break more rules and exhibit rule breaking behaviors (Windle, et al., 2009). 19.5 percent of 8th graders and 42.1 percent of 10th graders reported having been drunk in their lifetime (Windle, et al., 2009). It is said that the adolescents that consistently drink through this period of time are more likely to have a harder time transitioning into adulthood (Zhong, et al., 2010).
Eighth graders have a stronger disapproval for alcohol than their older counterparts in 10th grade, 51.2 percent to 38.5 percent (Windle, et al., 2009). “Approximately 57.2 percent of 8th graders and 53.3 percent of 10th graders rated five or more drinks of alcohol once or twice each weekend as a “great risk” for harm”(Windle, et al., 2009). Early alcohol use by adolescents is associated with suicidal behaviors that include ideations, attempts, and completion. Early alcohol use is also associated with engaging in sexual behaviors.
Underage drinking activity is not only hurting adolescents. It also affects the world around them such as their families, friends and community. Why is underage drinking occurring? What is the reasoning behind their starting to drink at such an early age? Childhood experiences, parents, peers and the media have more effect on underage drinking than people may think.
Our childhood makes up who we are today. Childhood experiences can deeply affect our behaviors and curiosity for alcohol at a young age. If a child was separated from their parents because they moved away, were incarcerated, or even died can give children acute feelings of loneliness and sadness (Rothman, et al., 2010). This being said, some children are made to grow up earlier than expected and take on adult roles. Children believed that alcohol would make them feel more independent and brave, while other children used it to reward themselves for handling their adult roles appropriately (Rothman, et al., 2010). If parents were permissive or otherwise absent also gives the child more freedom to help themselves to the liquor cabinet. Overall, the use of alcohol at this young of an age was to help cope with their stress and problems (Rothman, et al., 2010).
These childhood experiences can lead into their underage college years. The many negative effects of alcohol still impact families and the communities at almost every college or university in the US (Pedersen, et al., 2009). Prepartying has become more popular among underage college students. Prepartying is consuming alcohol before going to an actual event such as a house party, bar or gaming event. Reasons for prepartying include arriving to an event already under the influence, saving money, and...