Popular youths drinking soda inspire peers

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It seems that when young people see their popular friends drink soda instead of alcohol, they are likely to follow suit.

Hanneke Teunissen of the Radboud University in Nijmegen found that “adolescents were more influenced by popular than unpopular peers. Interestingly, the anti-alcohol norms of popular peers seemed most influential in that adolescents were less willing to drink when they were confronted with the anti-alcohol norms of popular peers. Additionally, the adolescents internalized these anti-alcohol norms, which means that they were still less willing to drink when the anti-alcohol norms of these peers were no longer presented to them.”

Earlier studies had already shown the reverse, namely that seeing friends drink alcohol inspires adolescents to also drink alcohol.

Teunissen’s findings will be published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

(Link: Eureka Alert. Photo by Jos Faber, some rights reserved.)

1 Comment »

  1. Long story short: lesser popular kids follow the popular kids regardless.

    Comment by Orangemaster — April 23, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

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