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A study of more than 4,000 teenagers in 13 different schools in Britain found that binge drinking increased aggression, but also increased the chance of children becoming the victim of violence, even if they were not violent themselves. According to the Cardiff University study, children who reported drinking monthly were also three times more likely to be hit. Adolescents who drank but didn't get into fights were more likely to be hit than those who did fight.

"This new study seems to be the first to show a direct link between alcohol misuse and vulnerability to injury, independent of any link between drinking and fighting. There now needs to be much more effort put into reducing alcohol misuse in order to reduce injury," said Professor Jonathan Shepherd, who led the research, in a news release.

The study also found:

  • 25 percent of 11 year olds reported drinking monthly and 3.6 percent daily.

  • By age 16, 40 percent reported drinking weekly and 6.2 percent drinking daily.

  • 22.6 percent of 16 year old reported getting drunk more than 21 times a year.

Professor Shepherd recommends that parents and teachers begin earlier in trying to prevent binge drinking by intervening during a "teachable moment" after students have missed school or were injured because of their drinking.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescence, also found a strong link between frequency of drinking and frequency of hitting other people.

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