'Link found' between teen drinking and computer use

A link has been uncovered between alcohol consumption and computer use among teenagers. New research authored by Dr Jennifer Epstein, Assistant Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical College, found that adolescents who drink alcohol spend considerably more time on their desktops.

The study - which has been published online in the journal Addictive Behaviors - suggested teens could be influenced to imbibe because of exposure to online material, such as alcohol advertising.

Dr Epstein noted that children are surfing the internet at increasingly younger ages, with social networking, downloading and listening to music among the most common uses.

She observed: "For this reason it's important that parents are actively involved in monitoring their children's computer usage, as well as alcohol use."

Dr Abigael San, Chartered Psychologist, said: "Whilst parental supervision in general and monitoring of computer use in particular is crucial in teenagers, the findings of this research does not orient to cause."

"There may be a correlation between alcohol consumption and frequency of internet surfing in teenagers, but there is no evidence that one causes the other."

"Many other factors may be at play here, such as parental involvement, parenting styles and boundary-setting."

"The study is interesting and opens up the need for further research."

Dr Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson from the University of Huddersfield recently presented research at the British Psychological Society's Annual Conference in Glasgow, which found that playing football video games can induce stronger emotional and physical responses than using more violent titles.