International Journal of Drug Development and Research

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Risk Factors of Alcohol Consumption among Portuguese Adolescents and Young Adults: Data from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey

Silvestre P, Oliveira J, Trigo H, Lopes P and Colaço N

There is an increasing interest in the literature regarding the risks for alcohol abuse, particularly at young ages. The current study aimed to contribute to this topic by assessing the role of the relevant predictors on alcohol consumption among adolescents and young adults. The sample comprised 364 participants (202 female) that were assessed with the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS - alcohol module), which addresses individual, family and social/environmental risk and protective factors on alcohol consumption. The outcome was defined as alcohol consumption severity in the last 30 days, assessed through a particular item of the GSHS. The regression analyses showed that the strongest predictors that may explain alcohol consumption were earlier onset of alcohol abuse and get into trouble because of alcohol abuse, although other risk factors related to exposure to Internet advertisements about alcohol might also explain alcohol consumption in young ages. The role of peers, particularly as regards to accepting drinks from friends was also a relevant predictor of alcohol consumption. Given these results, we consider that is important to ensure that alcohol advertising does not become available to children and adolescents, especially over the Internet. The results highlight also the importance of parents in supervising their children’s behaviour mainly at a young age where alcohol initiation could have greater impact.