JOURNAL OF STUDIES ON ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
Piscataway, NJ - Although there have been calls to lower the legal drinking age from 21, a new study
raises the possibility that it could have the unintended effect of boosting the high school dropout
The report, published in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
back at high school dropout rates in the 1970s to mid-80s -- a time when many U.S. states lowered
the age at which young people could legally buy alcohol.
Researchers found that when the minimum drinking age was lowered to 18, high school dropout
rates rose by 4 to 13 percent, depending on the data source. Black and Hispanic students -- who
were already more vulnerable to dropping out -- appeared more affected than white students.
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