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Teenagers, Alcohol and Stress


Friday, January 9th, 2009 Teenagers, Alcohol and Stress

Kate Devlin of the Telegraph (06 01 09) writes on the issues surrounding coping skills in schools for teenagers during exams, the effects of stress and how they turn to alcohol and drugs for relief.

In a recent study 172, 15-16 year-olds preparing to sit their GCSEs about how they coped with the pressures of school.

More than one in four pupils asked said that they suffered high levels of stress caused by school work.

The response to the survey was alarming in that although many of the students were able to listen to music, watch TV, or played sport to reduce stress levels, 30 per cent said they drank alcohol, 16 per cent said they smoked and six per cent said that they used drugs.

According to Dr Pamela Taylor, who presented the findings at a conference organised by the British Psychological Society in Manchester, said: “Teenagers face many pressures at school – continuous achievement, examinations and having to make important decisions about their futures.
“Over a quarter of these pupils reported suffering from high levels of school related stress.

“Our results illustrate how important it is to educate teenagers on the best ways to manage this stress, and highlight the dangers of using cigarettes, alcohol and drugs to cope.

“The study also shows there is a need for secondary schools to tackle pupils’ school based problems, including time management, work-life balance and teacher-pupil relationships.”


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