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J Subst Abuse. 1996;8(3):293-301.

Dieting in sixth grade predicts alcohol use in ninth grade.

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William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School, USA.


Recent studies of community-based populations have shown that the comorbidity seen in clinical studies of individuals with eating disorders and substance abuse extends in a graded manner to subclinical levels of each dysfunction as well as to adolescent populations. We hypothesized that frequency of dieting in the sixth grade would predict later alcohol use in middle school students. Data from 1,905 participants in a middle school health promotion project were analyzed. We found a positive, graded relationship between the frequency of dieting in the sixth grade and the frequency of alcohol intake in the ninth grade. We also found that frequency of dieting in sixth grade was a more powerful predictor of future drinking than such parameters as others' approval of alcohol use, perceptions of peer use of alcohol, and personal feelings of shyness and self-satisfaction. Implications of these findings are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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