Onset of Alcohol Use: Profiling Adolescents Characterized as "Early Drinkers"

Roni Mayzer, Michigan State University
Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Michigan State University
Maria M. Wong, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Robert A. Zucker, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Leon I. Puttler, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Although drinking during adolescence is normative, early onset has been described as a potential indicator of more serious and underlying problems. In this study, we explore the differences between early drinkers and their nondrinker peers among a group of adolescent children of alcoholics and an ecologically comparable group of adolescents from families without alcoholic parents. Child-related and family-related factors will be examined using data from the prospective Michigan State University--Universiity of Michigan Longitudinal Study. Analyses describe charcteristics of early drinkers, and the degree to which their profiles are distinct from their peers in both drinking and nondrinking domains. Directions for future research on onset will be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006