ERIC Number: ED249445
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Factors in Substance Abuse: The Case for Early Learning.
Noll, Robert B.; And Others
Recent research has suggested that children acquire important knowledge and attitudes about drugs early in their development. To explore the extent of preschoolers' knowledge of alcoholic beverages, two studies were conducted. In the first study, 20 children, 10 from families with alcoholic fathers and 10 controls, participated in Piagetian-like tasks to determine their cognitions about alcohol and its uses. Preliminary findings from this pilot study indicated that most of the study children possessed considerable knowledge about alcoholic beverages. In addition, children in alcoholic families did not perform significantly better on these tasks, although differences were in the predicted direction. In the second study, 131 preschool children performed the same tasks. Results from this study parallelled the initial findings. Most of these children already possessed considerable knowledge about the appropriate users of alcoholic beverages. These data showed that alcoholic beverages were selected for adults as their beverage of choice far more often than they were selected for children, and that alcoholic beverages were selected more often for adult males than for adult females. Further analyses of these data, based upon the chronological age of the preschool child who was completing the appropriate beverage task, showed that even the youngest children in the sample selected alcoholic beverages far more frequently for adults than for children, and performance on this task showed minimal age effects. These findings suggest learning about alcoholic beverages begins early in a child's life, and educational programs could appropriately begin with kindergarten. (Author/BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).