Thursday, February 27, 2003
Miami Herald - February 27, 2003
Teens are more likely to share smoking and drinking habits with their peers when they attend schools with a relatively large number of students who use tobacco or alcohol, reports the January/February issue of Child Development.
In high-use schools, adolescents who are susceptible to smoking and drinking have a more varied pool of potential peers who share their interests, reports study author H. Harrington Cleveland of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Among the seventh- to 12th-graders surveyed, students at high-use schools were three times as likely to follow their peers' smoking behaviors. They were also more likely to drink, but not to the same extent.
'The mere presence of so many smokers and drinkers may enhance adolescents' beliefs that drinking and smoking are normal and acceptable,'' Cleveland says.
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