Teens who drink alcohol spend more time using the computer for activities such as social networking than do those who don’t drink alcohol, according to a new study.The study found a link between recreational use of the computer (for non-school related activities) and teen drinking.The finding suggests certain online activities may influence teen drinking. For instance, it’s possible references to alcohol on social networking sites or online advertisements may encourage teenagers to drink, the researchers say.However, the study found only an association, and not a direct cause-effect link. This means it’s impossible to tell which happened first: the computer use or the drinking. It could also be that teens who drink are prone to using the computer for longer periods of time.More research over longer periods of time is needed to better understand the relationship between computer and alcohol use, the researchers say.”Children are being exposed to computers and the Internet at younger ages,” said study researcher Jennifer Epstein, a public health researcher at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. “For this reason it’s important that parents are actively involved in monitoring their children’s computer usage, as well as alcohol use.”The study is published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.Teenage… Read full this story
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