Teen Girls with Male Friends at Higher Risk for Substance Abuse

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According to a recent study teenage girls who befriend boys are at a higher risk for developing substance abuse problems. “Antisocial behavior and early physical maturity accelerated the increase in girls' numbers of male friends, who tended to be older and who didn't go to the same school. This may be because older boys provide younger girls with a way of obtaining alcohol, said the researchers.”

The study

The study had four hundred teenage boys and girls they ranged in age from 12 to 18. All four hundred of the teenagers were interviewed every year for a period of seven years. They were asked about their friends and use of drugs and alcohol.

The Study Findings

The researchers found that teenage girls who are more involved in mixed-gender friendships early in the teen years and develop friendships with boys quicker than other girls the same age are more likely to develop substance abuse problems during late adolescence.


Experts suggest that parents closely monitor their teenage daughter’s friends and try to discourage them from having too many friends that are older boys.