Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Meghan E. Morean ’11PhD: Sobering news for permissive parents.

Patting yourself on the back because your kids, who were allowed a glass of wine at the dinner table, grew up to be responsible drinkers instead of crazy drunken fools? Well, sober up—that was just dumb luck. Or so says Meghan E. Morean ’11PhD, a postdoc in psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine.

In a new study that tracked 1,160 college students for four years, Morean and her coauthors found that the earlier the teens’ first drink, the more likely they were to have a drinking problem by senior year. They also found that, the shorter the delay between drinking for the first time and getting drunk, the higher the risk of alcoholism. Not surprisingly, impulsiveness and a parental history of problem drinking are also risk factors.

“Despite valiant efforts” to prevent teen drinking, “75 percent of American high school seniors have used alcohol,” the authors write. So they recommend instead a focus on delaying drunkenness. The Yale Class of 2016 is about to arrive on campus. Are you listening, kids?

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