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Study: Students With Top Scores Likelier To Drink & Smoke Pot

Dorathy Gass

While some would think that top students would shy away from partying ways, this may not be the case when all is said and done. According to a recent British study, teens with high tests scores are likelier to smoke weed and drink alcohol, versus their lower-test-scoring peers. The only silver lining in this study, is these teens are also less likely to smoke cigarettes; which is something that past research has indicated.

Using surveys, co-authors of the study Gareth Hagger-Johnson and James Williams regularly tracked over 6,000 teens across England who attended both private and public schools. The students were followed from about 13 to 14 years of age until 19 or 20. National tests scores from 11 years old were able to help the team rank the teens in terms of academics.

CNN recently reported that high-scoring students, during their teen years, were less probable to partaking in cigarette smoking and likelier to consume alcoholic beverages, versus their low-scoring peers. They were also a bit likelier to smoke weed as well. Once they hit their late teens, students who had the highest test scores were almost double as likely to consume alcohol on a regular basis, versus the others, but did show that they were less likely to binge-drink. At this same point in their youth years, students with high scores also were close to double as likely to use pot regularly and 50 percent likelier to use it sporadically versus the teens with those who had lower scores.

On the other spectrum of things, students who scored average on tests were 25 percent likelier to use pot sporadically and 53 percent likelier to use it regularly in their early teenage years versus the students who had higher scores; they also used pot more than low-scoring students.

Still, while the results may take some aback, it’s important to note that research conducted in the U.S. usually finds the opposite occurs in high school students, but will find the same results when it comes to college students; that is, U.S. college students tend to drink more than those peers that have not gone to college. Still, one of the strengths of this study is that a huge sampling was used for the survey, with over 6,000 students being followed for a substantive amount of time. Still, the self-reporting aspect of the study also weakens the results as there could be inaccuracy around recollections.

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