23 January 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Uni-dimensional measures of alcohol consumption may be unable to fully capture the complexity of adolescent drinking and experience of alcohol-related harms. Latent class analysis provides an empirical method to understand different adolescent drinking patterns.

METHODS: Latent class analysis was used to create typologies of drinking among the 5018 current drinkers in the national Youth '07 survey. Determinants of drinking patterns were identified using multinomial logistic regression.

RESULTS: Four latent classes were identified, demonstrating an overall increase in risk of alcohol-related outcomes from increasing consumption. One class strongly deviated from this pattern, having moderate consumption patterns but disproportionately high levels of alcohol-related problems. Multinomial logistic regression found that the strongest predictors of belonging to high-risk drinking typologies were having a positive attitude to regular alcohol use, buying own alcohol, peers using alcohol, and obtaining alcohol from friends and/or other adults. Other significant predictors included being male, having a strong connection to friends, having parents with a low level of knowledge of their daily activities and poor connection to school. Class membership also varied by ethnicity.

CONCLUSION: The latent class approach demonstrated variability in alcohol-related harms across groups of students with different drinking patterns. Longitudinal studies are necessary to determine the causes of this variability in order to inform the development of targeted policy and preventative interventions. Legislative controls, such as increasing the legal purchase age and reducing the commercial availability of alcohol, will continue to be important strategies for reducing harm in young people.

23 January 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to test the structure and endorsement of drinking motives and their links to alcohol use among 11- to 19-year-olds from 13 European countries.

METHOD: Confirmatory factor analysis, latent growth curves, and multiple regression models were conducted, based on a sample of 33,813 alcohol-using students from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Wales who completed the Drinking Motives Questionnaire Revised Short Form (DMQ-R SF).

RESULTS: The findings confirmed the hypothesized fourdimensional factor structure. Social motives for drinking were most frequently indicated, followed by enhancement, coping, and conformity motives, in that order, in all age groups in all countries except Finland. This rank order was clearest among older adolescents and those from northern European countries. The results confirmed that, across countries, social motives were strongly positively related to drinking frequency, enhancement motives were strongly positively related to frequency of drunkenness, and conformity motives were negatively related to both alcohol outcomes. Against our expectations, social motives were more closely related to drunkenness than were coping motives, particularly among younger adolescents.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings reveal striking cross-cultural consistency. Health promotion efforts that are based on, or incorporate, drinking motives are likely to be applicable across Europe. As social motives were particularly closely linked to drunkenness among young adolescents, measures to impede the modeling of alcohol use and skills to resist peer pressure are particularly important in this age group.

04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

BACKGROUND: So far, audience segmentation of adolescents with respect to alcohol has been carried out mainly on the basis of socio-demographic characteristics. In this study we examined whether it is possible to segment adolescents according to their values and attitudes towards alcohol to use as guidance for prevention programmes.

METHODS: A random sample of 7,000 adolescents aged 12 to 18 was drawn from the Municipal Basic Administration (MBA) of 29 Local Authorities in the province North-Brabant in the Netherlands. By means of an online questionnaire data were gathered on values and attitudes towards alcohol, alcohol consumption and socio-demographic characteristics.

RESULTS: We were able to distinguish a total of five segments on the basis of five attitude factors. Moreover, the five segments also differed in drinking behavior independently of socio-demographic variables.

CONCLUSIONS: Our investigation was a first step in the search for possibilities of segmenting by factors other than socio-demographic characteristics. Further research is necessary in order to understand these results for alcohol prevention policy in concrete terms.

04 December 2014 In Social and Cultural Aspects

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the hypothesis that exposure to alcohol consumption in movies affects the likelihood that low-risk adolescents will start to drink alcohol.

METHODS: Longitudinal study of 2346 adolescent never drinkers who also reported at baseline intent to not to do so in the next 12 months (mean age 12.9 years, SD = 1.08). Recruitment was carried out in 2009 and 2010 in 112 state-funded schools in Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Scotland. Exposure to movie alcohol consumption was estimated from 250 top-grossing movies in each country in the years 2004 to 2009. Multilevel mixed-effects Poisson regressions assessed the relationship between baseline exposure to movie alcohol consumption and initiation of trying alcohol, and binge drinking (>/= 5 consecutive drinks) at follow-up.

RESULTS: Overall, 40% of the sample initiated alcohol use and 6% initiated binge drinking by follow-up. Estimated mean exposure to movie alcohol consumption was 3653 (SD = 2448) occurrences. After age, gender, family affluence, school performance, TV screen time, personality characteristics, and drinking behavior of peers, parents, and siblings were controlled for, exposure to each additional 1000 movie alcohol occurrences was significantly associated with increased relative risk for trying alcohol, incidence rate ratio = 1.05 (95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.08; P = .003), and for binge drinking, incidence rate ratio = 1.13 (95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.20; P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: Seeing alcohol depictions in movies is an independent predictor of drinking initiation, particularly for more risky patterns of drinking. This result was shown in a heterogeneous sample of European youths who had a low affinity for drinking alcohol at the time of exposure.

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