15 October 2014 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: Peer pressure (PP) has been shown to play a major role in the development and continuation of alcohol use and misuse. To date, almost all the studies investigating the association of PP with alcohol use only considered the PP for misconduct but largely ignored other aspects of PP, such as pressure for peer involvement and peer conformity. Moreover, it is not clear whether the association of PP with alcohol use is direct or mediated by other factors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of different aspects of peer pressure (PP) with drinking volume (DV) and risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD), and to explore whether these associations were mediated by drinking motives (DM).

METHODS: A representative sample of 5521 young Swiss men, aged around 20 years old, completed a questionnaire assessing their usual weekly DV, the frequency of RSOD, DM (i.e. enhancement, social, coping, and conformity motives), and 3 aspects of PP (i.e. misconduct, peer involvement, and peer conformity). Associations between PP and alcohol outcomes (DV and RSOD) as well as the mediation of DM were tested using structural equation models.

RESULTS: Peer pressure to misconduct was associated with more alcohol use, whereas peer involvement and peer conformity were associated with less alcohol use. Associations of drinking outcomes with PP to misconduct and peer involvement were partially mediated by enhancement and coping motives, while the association with peer conformity was partially mediated by enhancement and conformity motives.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that PP to misconduct constitutes a risk factor, while peer conformity and peer involvement reflect protective factors with regard to alcohol use. Moreover, results from the mediation analyses suggest that part of the association of PP with alcohol use came indirectly through DM: PP was associated with DM, which in turn were associated with alcohol use.

BACKGROUND: Few studies have analyzed the frequency of alcohol use across time from adolescence to young adulthood and its outcome in young adulthood. A Swiss longitudinal multilevel assessment project using various measures of psychopathology and psychosocial variables allowed for the study of the frequency and correlates of alcohol use so that this developmental trajectory may be better understood.

METHOD: Alcohol use was studied by a questionnaire in a cohort of N = 593 subjects who had been assessed at three times between adolescence and young adulthood within the Zurich Psychology and Psychopathology Study (ZAPPS). Other assessment included questionnaire data measuring emotional and behavioural problems, life events, coping style, self-related cognitions, perceived parenting style and school environment, and size and efficiency of the social network.

RESULTS: The increase of alcohol use from early adolescence to young adulthood showed only a few sex-specific differences in terms of the amount of alcohol consumption and the motives to drink. In late adolescence and young adulthood, males had a higher amount of alcohol consumption and were more frequently looking for drunkenness and feeling high. Males also experienced more negative consequences of alcohol use. A subgroup of heavy or problem drinkers showed a large range of emotional and behavioural problems and further indicators of impaired psychosocial functioning both in late adolescence and young adulthood.

CONCLUSION: This Swiss community survey documents that alcohol use is problematic in a sizeable proportion of youth and goes hand in hand with a large number of psychosocial problems.

Prevention programs in adolescence are particularly effective if they target homogeneous risk groups of adolescents who share a combination of particular needs and problems. The present work aims to identify and classify risky single-occasion drinking (RSOD) adolescents according to their motivation to engage in drinking. An easy-to-use coding procedure was developed. It was validated by means of cluster analyses and structural equation modeling based on two randomly selected subsamples of a nationally representative sample of 2,449 12- to 18-year-old RSOD students in Switzerland. Results revealed that the coding procedure classified RSOD adolescents as either enhancement drinkers or coping drinkers . The high concordance (Sample A: ? = .88, Sample B: ? = .90) with the results of the cluster analyses demonstrated the convergent validity of the coding classification. The fact that enhancement drinkers in both subsamples were found to go out more frequently in the evenings and to have more satisfactory social relationships, as well as a higher proportion of drinking peers and a lower likelihood to drink at home than coping drinkers demonstrates the concurrent validity of the classification. To conclude, the coding procedure appears to be a valid, reliable, and easy-to-use tool that can help better adapt prevention activities to adolescent risky drinking motives.

AIM: To determine the extent drinking patterns (at the individual and country level) are associated with alcohol-related consequences over and above the total alcohol the person consumes.

METHODS: Hierarchical linear models were estimated based on general population surveys conducted in 18 countries participating in the GENACIS project.

RESULTS: In general, the positive association between drinking pattern scores and alcohol-related consequences was found at both the individual and country levels, independent of volume of drinking. In addition, a significant interaction effect indicated that the more detrimental the country's drinking pattern, the less steep the association between the volume of drinking and its consequences.

CONCLUSION: Drinking patterns have an independent impact on consequences over and above the relationship between volume and consequences.

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