Study: Teen Drinking Influenced by Wide Social Circle 29291

A new study has found that teenagers are pressured to drink by a wide social circle--the friends of their boyfriends or girlfriends, rather than the romantic partners themselves.  The research, which was published in the journal American Sociological Review, found that "second-degree friends," or friends of boyfriends or girlfriends, had the strongest influence over teen drinking of any group of peers.

Experts urge parents to talk to their teens about drinking and peer pressure before they start dating.  Also, parents are encouraged to get to know their teens' friends, boy or girlfriends, and wider social circle.