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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Adolescent Alcohol Use Reflects Community-Level Alcohol Consumption Irrespective of Parental Drinking

Risk factors for adolescent alcohol use are typically conceptualized at the individual level, and school- and community-level risk factors have received little attention. Based on the theoretical understanding of youth alcohol consumption as a reflection of community social practice, we analyzed whether adolescent drunkenness was related to community-level adult alcohol use (AAC), when taking individual and school-level risk factors for drunkenness into account. Furthermore, we investigated whether the association between community-level AAC and adolescent drunkenness was attenuated after inclusion of parental drinking.

We used data from three sources: data about adolescent drunkenness from the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children 2010 survey (N = 2,911; 13- to 15-year-olds nested in 175 school classes and 51 schools); data about community-level AAC derived from the Danish National Health Survey 2010 (177,639 participants); and data on school-level variables from Health Behavior in School-Aged Children School Leader Survey 2010. We performed multilevel logistic regression analysis with data from students nested within school classes and schools.

Overall, 33.5% of students had been drunk twice or more. High community-level AAC was significantly associated with adolescent drunkenness (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.94 [1.21–3.11]). Parental drinking was strongly related to adolescent drunkenness but did not attenuate the relationship between community-level AAC and adolescent drunkenness. We found no association between adolescent drunkenness and school-level variables (youth friendly environment, alcohol education, and exposure to alcohol outlets).

Adolescent drunkenness was associated with community-level AAC and was not explained by parental drinking.

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