Page last updated: August 17, 2017

Drinking location and drinking culture and their association with alcohol use among girls and boys in Europe

A study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs aimed to investigate the relationship between drinking location and adolescent alcohol use, to analyse the association of drinking culture indicators with alcohol use, and to explore interaction effects of drinking location and drinking culture indicators.

Analyses were based on the 2011 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD). The analytical sample consisted of 36,366 15- to 16-year-old students, 51.6% of whom were female, from 11 countries. Alcohol volume and perceived drunkenness were used as outcomes. Drinking location was used as predictor variable. Per capita consumption and restrictions on public drinking were used as country-level predictors.

Compared with drinking outdoors, the reported alcohol volume was lower when drinking at home and higher when drinking in multiple locations or at someone else’s home. Drunkenness was highest among boys drinking at someone else’s home and, compared with drinking outdoors, lower among girls drinking on premise. Per capita consumption was positively associated with alcohol volume. Among girls, the association between per capita consumption and both outcomes was stronger when drinking in multiple locations than when drinking outdoors. A ban on public drinking showed a negative effect on drinking volume and drunkenness among girls.

The role of different drinking locations in alcohol use as well as sex differences should be considered in prevention and intervention of adolescent heavy drinking, the authors say. Setting-specific prevention and intervention measures are of greater importance in medium- or high-consumption societies.

Source: Drinking Location and Drinking Culture and Their Association With Alcohol Use Among Girls and Boys in Europe. Grüne B, Piontek D, Sleczka P, Kraus L, Pogarell O. J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2017 Jul;78(4):549-557.


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