Adolescents with large social networks of friends and acquaintances are more likely to start drinking alcohol than teens who play a less central role in their high school social scene, new research finds.

The findings from the study of 2,610 U.S. students in grades 7 through 11 suggest that limiting the size of a teen's social network may help delay the start of drinking.

In addition, being close to more popular people increased the risk that an adolescent would start drinking, the researchers found. The study is published in the September/October issue of the journal Academic Pediatrics.

Source: U.S. News & World Report
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/09/28/teens-with-lots-of-friends-more-likely-to-start-drinking-study