Talking to Adolescents May Ward Off Future Violent Behavior and Alcohol Use

Sep 03, 2010

A 3-year study involving over 3,000 patients used motivational interviewing to counsel adolescents about staying away from potentially violent and alcohol-related situations. It was found that these brief sessions “reduced by half the chances that teenagers would experience peer violence or problems due to drinking.”

University of Michigan Health System researchers found that talking to adolescents in the hospital reduced the incidence of future violent behavior and alcohol use. At the Hurley Medical Center Emergency Department (ED) in Flint, Mich, a team of researchers used motivational interviewing to counsel adolescents about staying away from potentially violent and alcohol-related situations. It was found that these brief interview sessions “reduced by half the chances that teenagers would experience peer violence or problems due to drinking.”

Along with colleagues, lead author Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD, associate professor in the University of Michigan department of psychiatry and Addiction Research Center, conducted the 3-year study. They gave 3338 adolescents, ages 14 to 18 years, computerized surveys. Of the teens who reported exposure to violence or drinking at least 2 to 3 times in the past year (n = 829), 726 were randomized and enrolled in a controlled trial (SafERteens). The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and findings were reported in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Details available at:U-M Study: Pep talks to teens in the ER reduce violence, alcohol misuseEffects of a brief intervention for reducing violence and alcohol misuse among adolescents: A randomized controlled trialRelated content:Widespread Zombification in the 21st Century and the Wars of the Zombie MastersHigh School Students With ADHD: The Group Most Likely to...Fizzle

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