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Study: Romance keeps kids ofd drugs and alcohol

July 1, 2010

Romantic Relationships Keep Kids off Drugs and Alcohol
By Christina Rainey,
Oregon Writer & new mom

A recent study from the University of Washington reveals that young adults that are in a relationship have a lesser chance to participating in heavy drinking and drug use.

Young single adults, defined as those within the two years following high school graduation, are 40 percent more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol compared to their peers in a romantic relationship.

The study, published the June issue of Journal of Health and Social Behavior, builds on previous studies showing married adults are also less likely to engage in drug and alcohol abuse.  The study was launched in the early 1990s and followed more than 900 boys and girls from first grade through the two years after high school.  The authors of the study found that single 19 and 20 year olds smoke and drank less in high school than their peers but as they reached young adulthood they tended to drink and smoke more and the roles were reversed. The study also found that romantic relationships that were involved with a partner that abuses alcohol were more likely to smoke or drink, not less.

I find the results of the study interesting because the years following high school can be a confusing and difficult time for young adults.  Many young adults can fall victim to peer pressure and poor choices.  Young adulthood comes at a time when many young adults are moving out of their parents home, attending college or a trade school and they are responsible for their decisions and well-being. Many may find that drug and alcohol use is a way to “fit-in.” Those that are in a romantic relationship are typically content in their relationship and may not find it necessary to participate.  But, rather they likely find confidence in themselves to make good decisions because of their healthy romantic relationships.  Whatever the reason may be, the results of this study are important for parents and those working with young adults to know.

2)How Yelp can make or break your business

With the growing popularity of online reviews it’s important to know all of the options that consumer have at their fingertips.  Yelp is one of the most popular review-based search websites.  It can make or break a small business.  Yelp was designed to be a “yellow pages for the 21st century”, and it allows users to review and rate businesses in their area.  Now, only six years after Yelp was developed, there are 26 million monthly readers and 8 million reviewers in most major American cities, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.  If you are a business owner you need to know what Yelp reviewers are saying.

Most business owners don’t like Yelp for two main reasons. First, everyone is a critic on the web.  When people are upset with their level of service, they immediately go to their computer to vent.  It is uncommon to leave a positive review because most people think that a certain level of service is expected.  A cursory search for taco restaurants in Portland, I found only two that received five stars, the highest rating.  Second, many business owners can get a bit obsessed with the constant negativity from their customers and find the reviews to be harsh and personal.  A small business owner of a San Francisco book store received a negative review from a customer, arguments ensued over email and the owner of the store showed up at the reviewer’s house.  The owner was later charged with battery.

Yelp, despite the disadvantages, can also be a tool to help your business succeed.  Recently Yelp allowed business owners to respond to reviews and this provides an excellent opportunity for discourse with your dissatisfied customer.  Perhaps a recent customer gave your business a negative rating?  Contact the reviewer in a private email and offer to rectify the situation.  Keep up your Yelp page with photos, business descriptions, up-to-date information, history and specialties, announce sales, special offers, events and respond to reviewers (even with a simple “thank you”). If a previously dissatisfied reviewer is contacted and the Reviewers can revise can adjust their rating and comments at a later time.

Yelp will continue to grow in popularity and if small business owners choose to embrace the website it will serve to benefit your business in the end.

  
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