The University of Eastern Finland recently published the results of a study that showed a link between alcohol use and teen aggression. According to the study results teens who are aggressive are more likely to drink alcohol, and to drink larger amounts of alcohol more frequently, than teens who are not aggressive. In a surprising twist the study found that higher rates of drinking and alcohol abuse were not associated with anxiety or depression. Two other issues that resulted in drinking more among teens were cigarette smoking and problems with attention span. Researchers were also surprised to discover that girls were more likely to be aggressive than boys, and girls had a higher rate of alcohol abuse if they came from divorced parents or if they started to have a menstrual period earlier than most of their peers.
Dr. Eila Laukkanen, who is associated with both the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, performed the study on teen aggression and alcohol abuse. She stated that “The findings raise questions about a possible change in the behavior of adolescent girls and their vulnerability during adolescent social and emotional development.” When alcohol use starts in the early teens this can harm brain development and increase the risk of poor mental health or even alcohol addiction. The study did show that alcohol use among teens has not increased significantly, but that teens today consume more alcohol than they did in the past. By the age of 15 years old more than half the study participant shad already used alcohol.