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Research Links Alcohol Use and Teen Body Image

Research Links Alcohol Use and Teen Body Image

teen body imageTeen body image is an enormous part of the adolescent years. The state of someone’s body image during these critical years can shape not just their physical health, but their mental health for the rest of their life. Many studies now link various forms of media to teen body image issues, but recent research unveiled a connection not many would’ve considered: alcohol use and body image.

Alcohol use may have even more damaging effects

I’m sure that you already know how alcohol use in the teenage years can negatively impact your son or daughter. Teen alcohol use already has tremendous implications in academic, social, familial, behavioral, physical, and emotional areas of life–now it also has to do with teen body image specifically in girls.

A new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, researchers looked into the connection between alcohol use in teen girls and body image issues. In the study, they found that high school girls, ages 14 to 18, who reported struggling and acting on teen body image issues had been much more likely to have drank heavily.

The lead author, Margie Skeer, Sc.D., M.P.H., M.S.W., explained the connection:

“Negative self-image can lead to negative behaviors. Body image and behavioral misperception occurs when actions are taken based on a perceived weight status or body image. We found significant relationships between this misperception and reporting ever having had alcohol, as well as reporting episodic heavy drinking among high school girls. Paying attention to this behavior in this population could help identify factors supporting the relationship between this misperception and drinking, as well as other risk behaviors, beyond high school.”

This is particularly troubling because of the amount of alcohol teens manage to consume even though it’s highly illegal. According to statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control, alcohol consumption among teens isn’t unusual in the slightest:

  • Young people, ages 12 to 20, consume more than a tenth of all alcohol consumed in the US
  • During the past 30 days, nearly 20 percent of teens have engaged in binge drinking
  • More than 90 percent of alcohol consumed by teens is consumed through binge drinking

Those are just some of the worrying statistics. As parents, teachers, and professionals, we need to be more vigilant and watchful of drinking in teens because of the copious amount of danger it poses to themselves and others.

ViewPoint offers help for alcohol use & teen body image issues

ViewPoint Center is an assessment center for teens, ages 12 to 17. At ViewPoint Center, we provide treatment through superior assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and stabilization–all in a personalized environment for your child in crisis. We strive to provide the best treatment for your child through the most efficient and effective methods available. We can provide treatment for teen body image issues and many others–our goal is to help your son or daughter through this hard time.  

For more information about treating teen body image issues at ViewPoint Center, contact us today at 801-825-5222.