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Risky behavior linked to unhappiness at school

unhappy kid

This is the kind of thing you suspect but hope isn’t true. Young children who don’t like school are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol new research shows. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare come true in a study reported by BioMed Central’s open access journal Substance Abuse, Treatment, Prevention and Policy. The researchers have found that the students general well being and specific satisfaction with their school were both associated directly with risky, self destructive behavior.

The study took place through the Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University to carry out the study in more than 3500 11-14 year olds from 15 schools in the Northwest of England. Professor Mark Bellis said, “As young as 13 years old, children who drink alcohol are much more likely to have had sex. The more they drink, the higher the risks of early sexual behavior. However, here we have looked at the relationships, not just between alcohol consumption and sexual behavior, but also at how these behaviors relate to their feelings about school and home life.”

The authors discovered that children who disliked their particular school, not just school in general, were two and a half times more likely to have a sexual relationship. Dissatisfaction with school also had a direct relationship with alcohol consumption.

Bellis continued, “Our study identifies that the children who drink and are sexually active are also more likely to be unhappy with their school and home lives. Such children can become disengaged from both family and educational support and risk progressing to sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancies or becoming an alcohol related casualty at an accident or emergency unit.”

Finally, Bellis summarized, “The study paints a clear picture that the children we most need to support are often the hardest to reach through conventional educational and parental routes.” Which is very sad indeed.

Source: BioMed Central, ScienceDaily


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