School Climate & Safety

Study: Teen Users of Facebook, MySpace More Likely to Drink, Use Drugs

By McClatchy-Tribune — October 17, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The eternal struggle to keep young people away from bad influences has moved to a new frontier: A research organization says teenagers who regularly log onto Facebook and other social networks are considerably more likely to smoke, drink, or use marijuana than teens who don’t visit the sites.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, at Columbia University, has found that teens who spend time on the networks are likely to see images of their peers drinking or using drugs—images that could help convince them that substance abuse is a normal, acceptable activity.

“We’re not saying [social media] causes it,” says Joseph Califano, the center’s chairman. “But we are saying that this is a characteristic that should signal to [parents] that, well, you ought to be watching.”

The findings are in keeping with a new wave of research into how social networks might affect teen decision-making. Several studies have suggested that Facebook, MySpace, and other sites have created a new form of peer pressure, exposing young people to risky behaviors they could be tempted to emulate.

But some experts warn that the research, just like social media, is still in its infancy, and that the correlation between social networking and teen substance abuse could be disguising more relevant risk factors.

A version of this article appeared in the October 19, 2011 edition of Digital Directions as Study: Teen Users of Facebook, MySpace More Likely to Drink, Use Drugs

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety School Dress Codes Often Target Girls. What Happens When Male Teachers Have to Enforce Them?
Male teachers say the task can put them in a risky and uncomfortable position.
11 min read
Image of articles of clothing on a coat hook outside a school entrance.
Laura Baker/Education Week via Canva
School Climate & Safety Are School Buses Safe? An Expert Explains
A perennial concern is getting new attention.
4 min read
Photo of rescue workers and turned over school bus.
Brandy Taylor / iStock / Getty Images Plus
School Climate & Safety Jury Finds Michigan School Shooter’s Mother Guilty of Manslaughter
Jennifer Crumbley was accused of failing to secure a gun and ammunition at home and failing to get help for her son's mental health.
2 min read
Jennifer Crumbley arrives in court on Feb. 5, 2024 in Pontiac, Mich.
Jennifer Crumbley arrives in court on Feb. 5, 2024 in Pontiac, Mich.
Carlos Osorio/AP
School Climate & Safety A School Removed Bathroom Mirrors to Keep Students From Making TikToks. Will It Work?
The desperate strategy for keeping students in class illuminates the challenge schools face in competing with social media.
5 min read
Empty blue school bathroom showing the bathroom sinks without mirrors.
iStock/Getty