Substance Use: Tweens Respond to Thought Control
New research finds that teaching kids about thought control may be key in getting them to say no to drugs and alcohol, despite peer pressure and exposure in the movies and television. Researchers learned that around the tween age years, kids are ambivalent towards cigarettes and alcohol, and have positive and negative associations with these things and have yet to decide one way or the other to use these substances.
“Initiation and escalation of alcohol and cigarette-use occurring during late childhood and adolescence makes this an important developmental period to examine precursors of substance use,” said researcher Roisin O’Connor of Concordia University. “We conducted this study to have a better understanding of what puts this group at risk for initiating substance use so we can be more proactive with prevention.”
Drinking and smoking among tweens (the ages between 9 and 12) is influenced by both impulsive and controlled decisional processes. The researchers believe that catching children early will prevent future substance abuse later on in life.