Young adults with strong verbal skills more likely to drink alcohol

Teens and young adults with strong verbal skills are also more likely to drink alcohol compared to other adolescents, according to HealthDay News.

In a study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, researchers gathered data on the verbal skills of a group of twins when they were children, teens and young adults.

Teens and young adults with higher levels of language development were more likely to engage in frequent drinking and to also have friends who drank, HealthDay News reported.

"Peer associations and the tendency to seek novel experiences may in part explain the link between better language skills and engaging in drinking behaviors," study corresponding author Antti Latvala, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki in Finland, said in a journal news release.

The researchers noted that while teens and adolescents with higher verbal skills may drink sooner, they are not necessarily more likely to abuse alcohol.

Public health experts, like Michael Windle, professor and chairman of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, were enthusiastic about the study’s findings.

"These findings are of importance for identifying the roles of childhood cognitive and intellectual factors as predictors of subsequent alcohol-use behaviors to complement the larger literature on the consequences of alcohol use and abuse on cognitive and neuropsychological functioning in adulthood," Windle said in the news release.

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