Teens On Facebook More Likely To Drink & Smoke (New Study)

A new survey suggest that teens in the United States who use social networking sites and watch “suggestive” TV shows are more likely to use drugs and alcohol than teens who have little to no exposure to this type of media.

With the survey making note of “social networking sites”, this will obviously imply that the use of Facebook was the main area of study since Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking site.

According to HealthDay.com, the survey included more than 1,000 youths from around the nation aged 12 to 17 and about half of their parents. On a typical day, about 70 percent of teens said they used social networking sites.

Social network users were five times more likely to report using tobacco (10 percent versus 2 percent), three times more likely to say they used alcohol (26 percent versus 9 percent) and twice as likely to admit using marijuana (13 percent versus 7 percent).

Facebook not the cause, just an association

The survey is quick to point out that the findings are not suggesting that Facebook is the cause of teen drinking and smoking, only that the use of alcohol and tobacco by teens on Facebook is elevated above teens who are not using the social networking site.

Other finds from the survey:

  • Nearly one in five children reported being cyber-bullied, meaning someone had posted mean or embarrassing things about them on a social networking site. Teens who have been cyber-bullied are more than twice as likely to use tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.
  • Teens whose parents don’t “agree completely” with each other on what to say to their teen about drug use are more than three times more likely to use marijuana than teens whose parents agree completely on what to say about drug use.
  • Teens whose parents do not agree completely with each other on what to say to their teen about drinking alcohol are twice as likely to use alcohol than teens whose parents agree.

Read more at HealthDay.com