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1 in 5 teenagers will experiment with science.
Posted: 03 May 2012 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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FreeInKy - 03 May 2012 10:15 AM
macgyver - 02 May 2012 05:30 PM

I’ve often observed that the kids who were big drinkers and substance abusers in our town frequently had parents who either made light of drinking or thought it was cool or were very uninvolved. Obviously there;s a lot more to it than that and great parents can sometimes have a child who choses the wrong path but if you put the wheels on a wagon the right way to begin with and keep nudging it back in line when it drifts too far of course it may still end up in a ditch now and then but its much less likely to run off the road then it would be if you don’t do those things.

macgyver, do you believe that alcoholism is genetic? It sure seems to run in my family.

It does seem that substance dependency has a genetic component. They have done twin studies on this subject and there does seem to be a greater concordance with identical twins than there is with fraternal twins but its no where near 100% which means that environmental forces play a significant role. There was a recent study that I will try to find if I can remember where i read it that showed parental attitudes toward alcohol played a significant role in the odds of a child having problems with alcohol abuse. parents who believed that drinking alcohol daily or drinking in high school was acceptable were more likely to have children who would binge drink in high school.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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macgyver - 03 May 2012 04:07 PM

parents who believed that drinking alcohol daily or drinking in high school was acceptable were more likely to have children who would binge drink in high school.

I wonder about that, since in places like France and Italy it’s normal to drink alcohol daily but (at least I’ve been led to believe) there is less binge drinking in high school than here in the US.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 04:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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dougsmith - 03 May 2012 04:19 PM
macgyver - 03 May 2012 04:07 PM

parents who believed that drinking alcohol daily or drinking in high school was acceptable were more likely to have children who would binge drink in high school.

I wonder about that, since in places like France and Italy it’s normal to drink alcohol daily but (at least I’ve been led to believe) there is less binge drinking in high school than here in the US.

You’re right about that but I think you need to look at what the attitude is. When alcohol is viewed as a healthy part of the meal or in a mature fashion children will pick up on that. When parents see alcohol more as a recreational drug and kids see their parents drinking and losing control at social gatherings or laughing off binge drinking when its discussed in the home then ids may be more likely to think that its acceptable to get drunk and abuse alcohol.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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macgyver - 03 May 2012 04:07 PM

There was a recent study that I will try to find if I can remember where i read it that showed parental attitudes toward alcohol played a significant role in the odds of a child having problems with alcohol abuse. parents who believed that drinking alcohol daily or drinking in high school was acceptable were more likely to have children who would binge drink in high school.

Which is pretty much what one would expect if genetics plays a role. Parents who drink will probably have children who drink. Why do people always assume that this pattern is due to environmental influences before the genetic ones? Is it so that we can blame parents for their mistakes or praise them for their successes?

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Posted: 03 May 2012 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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And I must add, macgyver, I am surprised (though not shocked) on your approach in this subject. When you feel that studies may disagree with your beliefs you say that “social science studies always seem to be a bit wanting.” When, however, you may feel a study may support your view, you don’t seem to hesitate to present it as a worhty evidence. I would have expected a little more skepticism from a doctor.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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George - 03 May 2012 05:43 PM

And I must add, macgyver, I am surprised (though not shocked) on your approach in this subject. When you feel that studies may disagree with your beliefs you say that “social science studies always seem to be a bit wanting.” When, however, you may feel a study may support your view, you don’t seem to hesitate to present it as a worhty evidence. I would have expected a little more skepticism from a doctor.

I agree with you that its hard to tease out genetics form environmental influences in these cases because they are so closely linked as you pointed out. Is the parent influencing their offspring through their genetic code or through their behavior.  Twin studies do help separate the two but they are hard to do in large numbers. The sort of alcohol use they were looking at in this study was not necessarily alcoholism per se but the spectrum of alcohol use in society so genetics may have been less of an issue than it is in alcoholism but you are right, it is a very difficult area to make any real conclusions.

One way to clarify the issue is to look at parents who have overcome an addiction. Their genetic code hasn’t changed but often they have developed a more negative attitude towards substance abuse. If it was all genetics then their offspring would be expected to have the same risk of developing problems with substance abuse as those who never kicked the habit. I don;t know if there are any such studies involving alcohol or drug abuse but with all the research thats been done i would be surprised if there wasn’t. My daughter did a study on smoking habits of high school age kids that looked at this issue in regard to tobacco addiction. While its not exactly the same as other substance abuse issues, kids who had parents who smoked were twice as likely to pick up the habit as those whose parents never smoked, but kids who had parents that had quit smoking were intermediate in risk. She didn’t have enough numbers to look at things like the age at which the parent had quit and how that affected the child’s risk but it does seem to indicate that parental attitudes about this particular substance abuse have an affect on the child’s risk of developing the same problem.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Well, I am certainly not saying that it’s “all genetics.” As far as alcoholism is concerned, according to 23andMe “the heritability of alcohol dependence is estimated to be between 38% and 64%.” Actually, the whole paragraph from 23andMe I posted on the previous page is, IMO, worth of reading.

As far as twin studies go, yes, I agree with you on the problems regarding sufficient numbers. But!, the twin (and adoption) studies are the best tool available to us at the moment and anybody who wants to prove these studies as inadequate will have to come up with something better. As far as I know, it is all we have for now.

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Posted: 03 May 2012 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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macgyver - 03 May 2012 04:52 PM
dougsmith - 03 May 2012 04:19 PM
macgyver - 03 May 2012 04:07 PM

parents who believed that drinking alcohol daily or drinking in high school was acceptable were more likely to have children who would binge drink in high school.

I wonder about that, since in places like France and Italy it’s normal to drink alcohol daily but (at least I’ve been led to believe) there is less binge drinking in high school than here in the US.

You’re right about that but I think you need to look at what the attitude is. When alcohol is viewed as a healthy part of the meal or in a mature fashion children will pick up on that. When parents see alcohol more as a recreational drug and kids see their parents drinking and losing control at social gatherings or laughing off binge drinking when its discussed in the home then ids may be more likely to think that its acceptable to get drunk and abuse alcohol.

Right. From what little I know about this subject, that’s what I was thinking as well. I just wanted to qualify the claim that daily alcohol drinking per se was the issue.

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Posted: 04 May 2012 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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I recall from my days as an LCDC, that the incidence of alcoholism is higher relative to cultures, e.g., Jewish people (who have had perhaps the longest history with alcohol) have the lowest incidence, whereas American Indians (who have had the shortest history with alcohol) have the highest incidence. 

But if this is true, it still doesn’t necessarily weed out the genetic vs. cultural influences that may lead to the difference in rates of alcoholism.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 04 May 2012 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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George - 02 May 2012 01:36 PM

Sure. A degree from Harvard serves two purposes: a confirmation in black and white that you have a high IQ and an opportunity to meet a successful mate. It has very little to do with the education one will receive.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0wk4qG2mIg

High I.Q.s.  LOL

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Posted: 05 May 2012 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Yeah, I think it’s more an indicator that you come from money rather than brains.

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Posted: 05 May 2012 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Having watched my kids and their friends all go through this process recently I’ve come to believe the admissions process especially at top named institutions is a complete joke for the most part. We saw a Valedictorian with 800’s on her SAT and a ton of extracuriculars get rejected from Brown while another student in the same class got in even though she wasn’t even in the top 20% and had less than 600’s on her SAT’s but she played lacrosse well. Another student in the top 5 and near perfect SAT’s who got the Varsity Athlete of the year award but didn’t want to play sports in college get rejected from Dartmouth when another girl in her class who was barely an 85 student and poor SAT’s got in again for lacrosse. Another top Student was rejected from Georgetown but her lower performing classmate got in because dad was an alum. When we were on a tour of one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country the admission officer literally told us that if we knew anyone from Montana who was interested in applying we should give them his name implying that they were virtually assured of being admitted because they needed someone from that state to complete their geographic diversity. Then of course there is the whole minority issue.

Only about 1/3 of the spots in top institutions are awarded based on merit. The rest are awarded based on athletics, legacy, and minority status. Admissions officers have all sorts of reasons to justify the process but the fact is that if you’re a student who works your tail off for good grades and you get passed over while they accept the party girl who is a poor performer but can play ball its very destructive to the morale of the very kids we should be supporting. Its a ridiculous system that is so corrupt and ingrained I don’t see any easy way to change it but I can tell you that I don’d automatically have a high opinion of people who graduate from these institutions anymore. Its just the way the world is unfortunately.

Sorry for the rant. but the topic came up so i ran with it tongue laugh

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Posted: 13 May 2012 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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If kids learning science is the objective then this might be relevant.

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewreply/158875/

psik

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