Study: Coached Extracurricular Activities May Help Prevent Pre-Adolescent Smoking & Drinking

By Joe Gullo

Published 04/30 2014 04:02PM

Updated 04/30 2014 04:06PM

LEBANON, N.H. -  Researchers at Dartmouth Hitchcock found that pre-adolescent aged kids who participated in a coached team sport were less likely to smoke or drink. 

A press release says the study found that team sport participation was the only extracurricular activity associated with lower risk of trying smoking compared to none or minimal participation. Pre-adolescent participation in other clubs was associated with lower risk of trying drinking compared to none or minimal participation.

“How children spend their time matters,” said lead author Anna M. Adachi-Mejia, PhD, a member of Norris Cotton Cancer Center’s Cancer Control Research Program. "Parents and guardians may think that tweens need less adult supervision when they are not in school. However, our research suggests that certain coached extracurricular activities can help prevent tween smoking and drinking.” 

The findings were published in Academic Pediatrics. Measures considered in the study included participation in team sports with a coach, other sports without a coach, music, school clubs, and other clubs. 

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