3 years ago

Is Binge Drinking Onset Timing Related to Academic Performance, Engagement, and Aspirations Among Youth in the COMPASS Study?

Scott T. Leatherdale, Karen A. Patte, Wei Qian

Background: Some evidence suggests early initiation of alcohol use is associated with academic underachievement; however, substance use onset is an ambiguous concept, resulting in mixed findings across studies. Moreover, the quantity of early use is likely an important determinant. Binge drinking is a common pattern among younger cohorts, and is shown to magnify the risk of related problems. Objectives: The current study explored how students who initiated binge drinking early (grade 10 or earlier) or later in high school (grade 11 or 12) differed in relation to a variety of academic indices. Methods: The sample consisted of 19,764 grade 9 to 12 students with at least 2 years of linked-longitudinal data from Year 1(Y1: 2012-2013), Year 2(Y2: 2013-2014), and Year 3(Y3: 2014-2015) of the COMPASS study. Separate multinomial GEE models tested the likelihood of different responses to outcome measures of academic goals, engagement, preparedness, and performance based on the timing of binge drinking onset. Models adjusted for binge drinking initiation in varying frequencies, gender, grade, race/ethnicity, and smoking. Results: Compared to students with earlier onsets of binge drinking, youth with later onsets were more likely to regularly attend class, complete their homework, value good grades, achieve high English or Math marks, have graduate/professional degree ambitions, and expect to obtain a college/trade school diploma after high school, yet they were less likely to expect to achieve a bachelor's degree. Conclusion: Results highlight the importance of substance use prevention programs targeting early adolescents. Both delaying and preventing binge drinking have the potential to improve scholastic outcomes.

Publisher URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10826084.2017.1306562

DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1306562

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