Despite the notion that teens are often pressured to drink to gain acceptance from their peers, the complete opposite could happen when kids pick up the alcohol habit.
In a new study undertaken and led by sociologist Dr. Robert Crosnoe from the University of Texas in Austin, teens who drink often feel as social outcasts due to their habit. In schools where alcohol consumption is low, teen drinkers feel the increase in social stress which leads them to develop problems in academics and in their intrapersonal relationships.
“The results suggest that we need to pay attention to youth in problematic school environments in general, but also to those who may have trouble in seemingly positive school environments,” Dr. Crosnoe said.
The study was conducted by analyzing statistics from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). About 8,271 adolescents from grades 7 to 12 from at least 126 schools were questioned with regards to their health-related behaviors.
It was found out that kids who drink often feel lonely and sees themselves as social outcasts especially in schools where majority of students stay away from alcohol and form close bonds by having the same anti-alcohol advocacies.
Researchers were able to discover a connection between the outcast perception of adolescents and their declining grades in school. In fact, there was a three-tenths difference in point grades between socially-secured students and those who feel isolated from the student community.
Dr. Crosnoe confirms that kids encounter troubles in their academics when they don’t feel accepted in school. “In general, adolescents who feel as though they don’t fit in at school often struggle academically, even when capable and even when peers value academic success, because they become more focused on their social circumstances than their social and academic activities.”
The complete details of the study are published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.