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Stopping Alcohol Use in Middle School

April 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Alcohol use in adolescence is linked to problems in school; health issues; and substance abuse later on, but finding an effective strategy to convince kids not to drink is difficult. A new study shows when middle schoolers work together, they are more likely to say no to alcohol.

Teachers use small groups to help kids learn new concepts in class, but could peer groups also help them stay away from alcohol?

Alcohol use in adolescence can lead to risky sexual behavior, alcohol dependence, and even early death. In a new study, research scientists examined more than 1,460 seventh graders from schools in Oregon to see if cooperative learning could have a positive impact on alcohol use. Cooperative learning is a method that uses peer tutoring and other group activities to encourage students to work together. Results showed cooperative learning reduced the use of alcohol among middle schoolers. Researchers recommend parents advocate for this type of practice at their school. It’s a simple approach that encourages kids to work together and could also help them say no to alcohol.

In a more recent study, the author found cooperative learning has even more advantages. It is linked to reduced bullying, stress, and emotional problems.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.