Alcohol consumption can lead to increased social stress and poor grades in teens, a new study shows. Teens who drink are more likely than their non-drinking peers to feel like social outcasts, according to HealthDay.
Social isolation that comes with drinking is most evident in schools that have tight cliques and fewer student drinkers. This suggests that teens who drink feel like outcasts when they are not with other drinkers, the University of Texas researchers said.
They looked at data from a national survey of almost 8,300 teens at 126 schools. They found a direct connection between teens’ feelings of isolation and worse grades.
“This finding doesn’t imply that drinkers would be better off in schools in which peer networks are tightly organized around drinking,” study co-author Robert Crosnoe said in a journal news release. “Instead, the results suggest that we need to pay attention to youth in problematic school environments in general, but also to those who may have trouble in seemingly positive school environments.”
The study is published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.