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Social media link to binge-drinking children

Social media link to binge-drinking children: Youngsters may turn to alcohol to cope with bad experiences online, researchers warn

  • Children who spend more time on social media more likely to binge, study says
  • Researchers warn they may turn to alcohol to cope with bad online experiences 
  • Alcohol adverts or friends’ drunk photos may also ‘normalise’ behaviour, they say

Children who regularly spend time on social media are more likely to binge drink, a study suggests.

Researchers warn youngsters may turn to alcohol as a way of coping with bad experiences on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. 

Online adverts for alcohol or photos of drunk friends may also ‘normalise’ the behaviour, they add. 

Academics from University College London analysed more than 6,700 British youngsters.

Those with no social media profile were 59 per cent less likely to consume alcohol than those who used social media for less than an hour a day. 

Researchers warn youngsters may turn to alcohol as a way of coping with bad experiences on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere (stock photo)

Among ten to 15-year-olds, those logging on for four hours a day or more were 89 per cent more likely to drink more often (stock image)

Among ten to 15-year-olds, those logging on for four hours a day or more were 89 per cent more likely to drink more often (stock image) 

But those who logged on for one to three hours daily were 44 per cent more likely to drink.

Among ten to 15-year-olds, those logging on for four hours a day or more were 89 per cent more likely to drink more often.

Professor Yvonne Kelly said: ‘Experimentation with drinking during adolescence is all part and parcel of growing up. 

‘However, the pattern among ten to 15-year-olds in our study is particularly striking, given that the purchase of alcohol for this group is illegal, coupled with the potential problems associated with the introduction to alcohol from an earlier age.’ 

The findings are published in the journal Addiction.

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