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Term Paper on Pre-Teens and Alcoholism

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Term Paper on Pre-Teens and Alcoholism

Term paper on Pre-teens and alcoholism

Alcoholism has been a very important malady of the modern society and has attracted much attention from sociologists, academicians and medical practitioners since many years. Much progress has been made in either containing or mitigating the adverse effects of alcoholism in adults as well as adolescents in the past few years. However, as much as there have been successes in containing the problem of alcoholism in the society, newer problems also have been creeping up that throw new challenges to social workers. One of the more recent fallout of alcoholism in adults and youngsters is pre-teen alcoholism, which needs to be considered with extreme caution because the deleterious effects of alcohol on children in their pre-teen years is much more than the effects that are seen in adults or the youth.


Michael Windle observes that 'the concept of alcoholism, in its most general sense, refers to a disease, or disorder, typically characterized by: (a) a prolonged period of frequent, heavy alcohol use; (b) a variety of social and/or legal problems associated with alcohol use (e.g., driving while intoxicated, impaired school/work performance); and (c) the expression of dependency symptoms (e.g., unpleasant withdrawal effects when unable to consume alcohol).' [Windle, 1998, p. 1]. In children these symptoms may manifest much easily than in adults because of their tender physical constituency.

Deviance in relation to alcoholism is characterized by the adverse social consequences associated with drinking alcohol and includes problems in the home, at school or college, with peers, or with legal authorities. Problems in the home include such behaviors as fighting with parents about drinking and keeping away from home. Problems at school or college include attending to school in drunken state, or missing school because of drinking. Problems with peers include such actions including street-fights, conflicts with girlfriend or boyfriend about changing one's drinking habit. And problems with legal authorities include events including getting into trouble with the police for fighting or for driving while drinking. Obviously, higher levels of alcohol consumption are associated with higher levels of alcohol induced problems.

Prevalence of teen alcoholics

Alcoholism is perhaps the most common deviance found among Americans today. In 1995, in the United States, 67% of all the population over the age of 12 reported drinking alcohol in the previous year. It is more often the first socially deviant behavior that an adolescent adopts as a psychological and social reaction. Though alcohol is considered a popular “social beverage” that gives the drinker a pleasurable and relaxing feeling, the social and or legal problems associated with alcoholism suggest that alcoholism involves or causes many deviant behaviors. Many alcohol-related problems, mainly personal and social difficulties, associated with the use of alcohol makes alcoholism a social deviance. When these effects manifest at

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