A new study from the Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University has revealed that children who are unhappy at school or home are much more likely to turn to sex and alcohol.
"As young as 13 years old, children who drink alcohol are much more likely to have had sex. The more they drink, the higher the risks of early sexual behavior. However, here we have looked at the relationships, not just between alcohol consumption and sexual behavior, but also at how these behaviors relate to their feelings about school and home life," said Mark Bellis.
The study found that children stating a dislike of school had 2.5-fold higher odds of having any sexual relationship. Dislike of school also strongly predicted alcohol use.
"Such children can become disengaged from both family and educational support and risk progressing to sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancies or becoming an alcohol related casualty at an accident and emergency unit," Bellis said.
"This study paints a clear picture that the children we most need to support are often the hardest to reach through conventional educational and parental routes."
The study is reported in BioMed Central's open access journal Substance Abuse.