Friends May Sway Teen Girls' Drinking
Study: Teenage Girls May Be More Vulnerable Than Teenage Boys to Peer Pressure
Nov. 26, 2007 -- Teenage girls may be more likely than teenage boys to copy
their friends' alcohol use -- and more vulnerable to peer pressure, a new study
For the study, more than 1,400 pairs of 14-year-old twins in Finland
answered questions about their drinking and their friends.
About two-thirds of the twins -- 63% of girls and 66% of boys -- said they
never drank alcohol. Similar percentages of boys and girls reported drinking
occasionally or at least weekly.
Teenage girls were more likely to report drinking if they had friends who
drank, smoke, or who had gotten into trouble at school for bad behavior or
The same wasn't true for boys. So the researchers suggest that girls may be
more influenced than boys by their friends.
There was one exception. Girls or boys were more likely to report drinking
if they had some friends of the opposite sex.
The twins weren't followed over time. So it's not clear which came first --
having friends with risky habits or starting to drink.
The researchers -- who included Virginia Commonwealth University's Danielle
Dick, PhD -- don't chalk up the results to genetics alone. Choice of friends
They report their findings in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental