A Psychosocial Approach to Teen Alcoholism - Essay Example

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A PSYCHOSOCIAL APPROACH TO TEEN ALCOHOLISM SUBMITTED BY: SUBMITTED TO: INSTITUTE: ABSTRACT This paper attempts to explain a news report about a social issue: Alcoholism among teenagers. Its aim is to discuss various causes of teenage drinking in light of psychosocial theories and to come up with a strategy to address this issue…
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A Psychosocial Approach to Teen Alcoholism
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Download file to see previous pages The paper covers three famous psychological theories including the Expectancy theory, Theory of Family Interactions and the Theory of Social Learning. The issue of teenage alcoholism is then discussed and explained in light of two sociological theories as well, namely: The Social Control Theory and The Strain Theory. The article concludes with the explanation of a psychosocial approach to the social problem of teen drinking along with some strategies based on the discussion to reduce the problem. 1. INTRODUCTION Alcohol consumption happens to be one of the most significant and common high risk behavior among teenagers (Arata, et al; 2003). People have mixed attitudes towards alcohol drinking; however problematic drinking (defined as more than five drinks on one occasion) is considered harmful by most people. According to Arata and colleagues (2003), binge drinking can lead adolescents to engage in other risky behaviors like: hangovers, inappropriate behaviors, arguments, momentary memory loss and car crashes. Houghton & Roche (2001) report that alcohol is easily available even to underage people. The aim of this paper is to identify the various psycho social processes that encourage teenagers to take to drinking and to offer some intervention to resolve this issue. 1.1 The News Report The news article which forms the basis of this paper (see appendix) is briefly presented as follows: A survey study based on 5700 participants, by Joseph Rowntree Foundation was published on BBC News, which stated that ‘children who see their parents drunk are twice as likely to regularly get drunk themselves’ (NHS, 2011).The aims of this study were to investigate the first time drinking experience of teenagers and to identify the circumstances under which this happened; to gather information about the drinking habits of teenagers between ages 13 and 16 years (year 9 and year 11), studying in schools of England and to identify factors which influence the drinking habits of these teenagers. The main findings include that a majority of the students had had a drink however regular drinking was more frequent in year 11 group; the first drink most children had was with family, during some celebration; children who spent more time with friends without parental supervision were more likely to drink and children who were exposed to a drunk family member were twice as much at stake to take up drinking as compared to those who did not have a drinking family member. The study concluded that although drinking behavior in teenagers is influenced by friends, media and easy access of alcohol, but the most powerful factor is one’s family. They are not only usually responsible for exposing the children to their first drink, but also serve as drinking models for their kids to follow and their lack of supervision also contributes to the teenager\s drinking behavior (NHS, 2011). 2. PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES There is a wealth of theories in psychology that have attempted to explain drinking and factors that encourage alcoholism. Two most relevant ones are discussed below: 2.1 Social Learning Theory The social learning theory, developed mainly on the work of the behaviorist Bandura maintains that observational learning is carried out via an interaction of external and internal environment, reinforcement, information processing systems and regulatory codes (Leonard, 1999). According to Akers (1979), there are four steps that occur during the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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