UNCW will conduct study on adolescent binge drinking

Researchers receive a major grant to study alcohol's effects on brains of youth who face adversity


UNCW’s department of psychology has been awarded a $380,0000 grant to take a closer look at the link between young teenagers and binge drinking. According to Kate Nooner, chair of the department of psychology, the study will consist of several components.

“So, what the study is going to entail is working with 12-to-17-year old’s, asking them about adverse experiences they may have had. These are standardized surveys that are used around the world, just asking about things that have happened, related to child abuse neglect, serious things related to divorce, substance use in their own families.”

But this study isn’t just your run of the mill, ask-and-answer-a-few-questions type of research; they also plan on studying the brain.

“So, we do something called electroencephalography, which is just a little cap that allows us to measure the electricity that’s happening in your brain, as a way to see how that’s functioning and how that may be related to the adverse experiences you had and the onset of substance use,” Nooner explained.

This study is actually a continuation of a prior study that Nooner performed.

“In that prior study we found that when we measure the EEG, the brain function in kids that experienced more adversity, we see kind of a not as well functioning in terms of the kind of calm and alert functioning of the brain” said Nooner.

For more information on youth alcohol consumption in North Carolina, and tips from the state for talking with your child about alcohol abuse, visit here.

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