Early drinking leads to alcohol problems and risky sex

Urban adolescents who start drinking by 7th grade are more likely to report alcohol problems in mid-adolescence. They are also more likely to engage in risky sexual practices, according to a study of more than 1,000 black and Hispanic youth who reside in economic distressed neighborhoods.

Researchers surveyed the youth in 7th and 10th grade and asked about drinking and risky sexual behaviors such as being high or drunk during sex and having sex with multiple partners. About 25 percent of the youth had tried alcohol by the time they entered 7th grade. Among 10th graders, almost 63 percent had used alcohol.

Risky sexual behaviors were more likely among the students who had already used alcohol by 7th grade, and early drinking was related to sexual initiation and recent sexual intercourse among females.

[From: "Early Alcohol Initiation and Subsequent Sexual and Alcohol Risk Behaviors among Urban Youth." Contact: Ann Stueve, PhD, Education Development Center, Inc., [email protected]]

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