Sometimes I look at my 4-year-old daughter and see glimpses of the teenager I imagine she'll be. More often than not, those glimpses terrify me, but I brush them off thinking a lot can (and hopefully will?) change between now and then. A new study, however, says that we can actually tell a lot about what our toddlers will be like as teens when it comes to drinking alcohol.
Great? According to Yahoo! News, new research found a correlation between certain children's temperaments and their drinking habits as teens. After studying thousands of children, researchers found there are two personality traits that more often lead to teen drinking.
The indicative traits are two extremes. On one end they found that children who are emotionally unstable and are not very sociable are more likely to drink. They also found that those who are extremely social and extroverted tend to drink more as it may lead to "sensation seeking." Study co-author Danielle Dick said:
People don't enter adolescence as blank slates; they have a history of life experiences that they bring with them, dating back to early childhood. This is one of the most comprehensive attempts to understand very early childhood predictors of adolescent alcohol use in a large epidemiological cohort.
Of course, plenty of other factors will affect will whether your teen drinks or not, and some researchers say this study alone isn't enough to predict teen drinking behavior. But it's good information to have nonetheless, and depending on how your child acts at playgroup, you may want to think about purchasing a locked liquor cabinet.
Fortunately for me, I wouldn't put my daughter in either of the two highest risk groups, so I guess that's some comfort. Now I just need a study that tells me her willful, stubborn, dramatic behavior means she's going to be a delightfully charming, easy teen. Hey, a mom can hope anyway, right?
Do you worry about what your toddlers will be like as teens? What do you think of this study?
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