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Home > Research Articles > Teens Prefer to Get Alcohol Advice Online

Published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Monday, February 23, 2004

2/20/2004

Teens are receptive to advice about drinking safely, but a study finds that the preferred method of delivery is over the Internet rather than talking with doctors, the BBC reported Feb. 16.

Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand said teens would rather get information about the dangers of alcohol over the Web or have it sent to them by mail or e-mail.

Least preferred was talking with physicians face-to-face, because most teens feared that doctors would criticize their drinking behavior.

Their conclusions are based on a review of existing studies that examined the most effective ways of delivering information to 15- to 24-year-olds.

"Our research suggests that young people who are not seeking treatment for an alcohol problem would be disinclined to discuss their drinking with a health practitioner through fear of being judged," said Dr. Kypros Kypri, who led the study.

"Young people are nonetheless curious about how risky their drinking is and how it compares with that of their peers," he added. "Computerized approaches capitalize on this curiosity while reducing the potential that young people will be put off by the prospect of having to discuss their drinking and its consequences with a health practitioner."

The study is published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.