Scientists Believe They Can Predict Teen Binge Drinking Potential

Scientists believe they have developed a method that can help predict whether or not a teen has the potential to become a binge drinker by the time they reach age 16.

The international team of scientific researchers developed a testing system that takes several variables into account to determine if the child may binge drink. The test, analyzing 40 variables, reportedly has a 70 percent accuracy.

2,000 teenagers from Europe were used as test subjects. They came from countries like England, Ireland, Germany and France. None were from North America, South America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East or Australia. The test mostly works with personality data, utilizing a computer program to analyze the information, according to reports.

The program analyzes brain structure, personality, family history, life events and other data to make predictions about the teenager and their possible link to binge drinking through that data. The University, Dublin researchers in Ireland, use these pieces of data as key risk factors. They studied a group of 14-year-olds, then checked back with them a couple of years later and found that their software predicted two-thirds of the cases accurately.

It was reported that the study considered drinking on more than three separate occasions binge drinking. Larger brains, which are linked to immaturity, are considered a risk factor as well. Thrill seekers are also candidates.

The study was published in the science journal, Nature