School Climate & Safety

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

By McClatchy-Tribune — October 17, 2011 1 min read

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 The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
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
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

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 Interactive Which Districts Have Cut School Policing Programs?
Which districts have taken steps to reduce their school policing programs or eliminate SRO positions? And what do those districts' demographics look like? Find out with Education Week's new interactive database.
A police officer walks down a hall inside a school
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (images: Michael Blann/Digital/Vision; Kristen Prahl/iStock/Getty Images Plus )
School Climate & Safety These Districts Defunded Their School Police. What Happened Next?
Six profiles of districts illustrate the tensions, successes, and concerns that have accompanied the changes they've made to their school police programs over the last year.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Ryan David Brown for Education Week
School Climate & Safety Defunded, Removed, and Put in Check: School Police a Year After George Floyd
Education Week has identified 40 school districts that defunded their police after last summer's Black Lives Matter protests.
Police officer outside of a school
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (image: Bastiaan Slabbers/iStock)
School Climate & Safety Biden Team to Revisit How Schools Should Ensure Racial Equity in Discipline
The Trump administration pulled a directive on fair discipline for students of color. Biden's Education Department will review the issue.
4 min read
a student sits alone in a hallway
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week (Image: DigitalVision)