Researchers behind a recently published study have found that children who taste alcohol are more likely to drink come high school.
In the study, which was published in the journal Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that children who had taken a sip of alcohol by the sixth-grade were roughly five-times more likely to have a full alcoholic drink by the time they were in high school and four-times as likely to binge drink or get drunk.
This latest study confirms the conclusion of a report published last year in the same journal in which researchers found that even small amounts of alcohol offered to children could have negative repercussions.
CNN noted in a recently published report that a study in Sweden which examined 13-year-olds found that parents offering the children alcohol was associated with a higher likelihood of heavy episodic drinking in girls, but not in boys.
Kristina Jackson, a co-author of the more recently published study in the journal JSAD was quoted in the aforementioned CNN report as having said that she doesn’t think “parents need to feel that their child is ‘doomed,'” in regards to parents who have already let their children have sips of alcohol, as she noted in an e-mail interview with the news organization that only a quarter of the sippers reported consuming a full alcoholic drink by the ninth-grade and that less than ten-percent reported getting drunk.
I don’t think parents need to feel that their child is ‘doomed’ […] I think the most important thing is to make sure that children know when drinking is acceptable and when it is not
The recent study, which was published on March 31, examined data collected from a total of 561 middle-school students in the state of Rhode Island. The data was derived from following the students over a period of three-years, from sixth to ninth grade.
Results of the study indicated that nearly 30 percent of the children examined had tasted alcohol that was not part of a religious celebration by the time they were in sixth grade and that roughly 26 percent of the early sippers had consumed a full drink by the time they reached ninth grade.
Comparatively, only 6 percent of non-sippers had consumed a full drink by ninth grade.
As far as getting drunk is concerned, 9 percent of early sippers reported having been inebriated by ninth grade, whereas only 2 percent of the non-sippers had been drunk by ninth grade.
In an unrelated study, researchers found that drinking coffee reduces liver cancer risk in those who have three or more alcoholic drinks a day.
What are your thoughts on allowing children to sip wine and beer before they’re of age?