Doctors Say “Being Cool” Has Long-Term Negative Consequences

Being a teenager is rough. Popularity, peer pressure, puberty, and college prep all present a number of stressful situations for your teen to navigate. It’s no surprise that many teens turn to drug or alcohol abuse as a way to cope with these stressors or to fit in with “the cool kids.”

Research suggests that the “cool” behaviors many teens engage in due to peer pressure, including drinking and drug use, can end up having negative long-term effects far beyond graduation.

How Being Cool Can Spell Bad News

The study from Child Development points out that many “cool” kids continue their deviant behavior into adulthood, which can include drug and alcohol abuse. This behavior can result in failed relationships and legal battles.

Researchers from the University of Virginia found that “adolescent pseudomature behavior,” including drug and alcohol use and sex, can negatively impact teen development. Though these habits may bring short-term rewards such as popularity — 20% of the 184 subjects studied were considered “cool” at its onset — their popularity declined over the following 2 years.
By the end of the study, when subjects were 23, most of the “cool” kids were struggling with criminal behavior, including marijuana use and alcohol abuse. The popular crowd had more problems with substance abuse when compared to subjects that were not considered “cool.”

Why “Cool” Kids?

Researchers theorize that “cool” kids value popularity, and therefore the approval of their peers, more than anything, meaning they continue to pursue this acceptance by maintaining the dangerous behaviors that made them “cool” in the first place. This includes drinking and doing drugs, as well as exploring more criminal behaviors.

Parents: Don’t Let Your Teens Go Down This Path

Are you worried your teen is traveling down a dangerous path in order to become popular? Don’t let their short-term goal of popularity lead to lasting deviant behavior. Test Smartly Labs can provide drug and alcohol testing for teens so you can confirm if your teenager has been abusing illegal substances or sneaking into your liquor cabinet.

WE PROVIDE ACCURATE AND CONFIDENTIAL DRUG TESTING. CALL (816) 800-9699 OR CONTACT TEST SMARTLY LABS TODAY. YOU CAN MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT ANY OF OUR 5 KANSAS CITY AREA LOCATIONS.

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