Wednesday 21 February 2018

Clever kids more likely to use cannabis in teens

High academic achievement at the age of 11 has been linked to a lower risk of smoking cigarettes in adolescence (Stock picture)
High academic achievement at the age of 11 has been linked to a lower risk of smoking cigarettes in adolescence (Stock picture)

Ella Pickover

Bright children are more likely to drink and smoke cannabis in their teenage years, a new study has found.

High academic achievement at the age of 11 has been linked to a lower risk of smoking cigarettes in adolescence. But high achievers were more likely to drink alcohol as teenagers. They were also more likely to smoke cannabis compared with their less academically gifted peers.

Experts examined data from more than 6,000 young people. Information was gathered on their academic achievement at age 11 and collated with health behaviours in early and late adolescence. The study, published in the journal 'BMJ Open', found that during their early teens, high-achieving pupils were less likely to smoke cigarettes. But they were more likely to say they drank alcohol.

"High academic achievement at age 11 is associated with a reduced risk of cigarette smoking but an increased risk of drinking alcohol regularly and cannabis use," the University College London research said. "These associations persist into early adulthood, providing evidence against the hypothesis that high academic ability is associated with temporary 'experimentation' with substance use."

Irish Independent

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