Alcohol Consumption in the U.S. Starts as Early as Second Grade
By second grade your child is likely to be delving into more complex concepts of science and math and broadening their knowledge of the world, child development experts say. And according to a new study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, they're also liable to be taking their first sips of alcohol.
Based on data collected from 452 children in one Pennsylvania county each year from ages 8-and-a-half through 18, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh discovered that by age 8, 37 percent had sipped alcohol. That number jumped to 66 percent by age 12. And by the time the group hit 18.5 years old, nearly all (96 percent) had sipped or tasted alcohol, a habit associated with behaviors such as binge drinking, marijuana use, delinquency, precocious sexual behavior, drinking and driving in adolescence, and substance use disorder later, previous studies have shown.