Who drinks alcohol is not random, and so neither are the consequences

Jennifer Maggs, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State University

  • Wednesday November 29, 2017 from 4:00 pm–5:00 pm
  • Ruth Pike Auditorium, 22 Biobehavioral Health Building

Who drinks (and when, and how, and why) does not occur randomly, thus it is unlikely the consequences of drinking will be distributed equally across drinkers solely as a function of drinking level or pattern. Using two long-term longitudinal national cohort studies from the UK (Millennium Cohort Study, infancy to age 14; National Child Development Study, infancy to age 55), I will describe our team's efforts to take selection seriously in observational life course data. Recent examples include identifying child and parent risk factors for children's alcohol use initiation across ages 4 to 11 years, asking what parents allow their early adolescents to drink, and questioning the apparent benefits of light to moderate alcohol use in adulthood for morbidity and mortality. Brief plugs will be made for thinking developmentally, following large representative samples across significant periods of the life course, and seeking malleable risk factors relevant to large segments of the population.

For more information about Dr. Maggs, click here