Study shows that the smartest students are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke pot
After researching the consumption habits of British teenagers for over a decade, it has been discovered that British teens who are less likely to smoke cigarettes but more likely to consume alcohol and marijuana will usually perform better in exams than those that don't.
The study has been published in the British Medical Journal Open and the information was gathered from a questionnaire that was administered to 6,000 students from schools across England.
Using this questionnaire, the co-authors of the research, James Williams and Gareth Hagger-Johnson, were looking to determine the association between childhood academic ability and the onset and frequent use of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis.
Having finished their research, they discovered "evidence against the hypothesis that high academic ability is associated with temporary ‘experimentation’ with substance us."
The research found that during their early teens, high-scoring students were less likely to smoke cigarettes and more likely to drink alcohol than their peers with lower test scores. At this time, they were also more likely to say that they used cannabis.
During their late teens, these academically gifted students were also more than twice as likely to drink alcohol when compared with others, yet they also showed themselves to have less of a tendency to binge-drink.
During this same period, the 'smarter' students were also nearly twice as likely to frequently use cannabis.
Williams and Hagger-Johnson have offered up some explanations for this outcome.
They state that : "Cognitive ability is also associated with openness to new experiences and higher levels of boredom due to a lack of mental stimulation in school." Another possibility is that these 'smarter' teens may find it easier to integrate with older social groups thus making it easier to"facilitate access to alcohol and cannabis."
You can read the whole report here.