Science is full of surprises, that much is true, but I can’t say that this would be one of them. The latest installment in an ongoing series of studies continues to offer increasing evidence suggesting that more intelligent children, who develop language and intellectual skills earlier than others, are more likely to drink and take drugs than their less intelligent peers.
Researchers followed 3,000 sets of twins in Finland, focusing on those who noted significant differences in verbal development in adolescence and who had also developed to have varied drinking behavior in adulthood. The results showed that the twin who spoke their first words earlier or began to read earlier was nearly twice as likely as their corresponding twin to be drinking more by age 18. Overarchingly, the drinking habits exhibited by the more intelligent twin was considered unproblematic and did not qualify them as having an alcohol disorder. Earlier research contends that, although smarter people are more likely to drink or try drugs, higher intelligence may act as a “protective factor,” a “vehicle for moderation” against alcoholism and addiction.
Are you surprised by the findings of this study? I’m definitely not — in fact, I think it makes total sense, especially considering that more intelligent people and early bloomers also tend to be more depressed. It all seems to go hand in hand, no? [Time]
[Image of young man with short blond hair via Shutterstock]