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Social Class and Alcohol Use by Youth: Different Drinking Behaviors, Different Associations?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI). Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway.
2018 (English)In: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1937-1888, E-ISSN 1938-4114, Vol. 79, no 1, p. 132-136Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Low socioeconomic status (SES) is related to hazardous alcohol use in adults, and the association seems to be stronger for more deviant and harmful drinking behaviors. We examined whether a similar pattern was present among adolescents.

Method: Data stem from a Norwegian school survey of 14- to 17-year-olds (n = 12,966; response rate in participating schools: 86%). Parental education (high/middle vs. low) was our main SES indicator. The outcomes comprised lifetime and past-year drinking and intoxication, and past-year symptoms of excessive drinking. We used Poisson regression to estimate relative risks (RR) and post-estimation Wald F tests to compare coefficient estimates.

Results: Parental education was related inversely to the lifetime measures of drinking and intoxication among all students but the 17-year-olds. The impact on any intoxication episodes was significantly stronger than that on any alcohol use only among the 14-year-olds (RR = 1.79, 95% CI [1.31, 2.43] vs. RR = 1.21, 95% CI [0.98, 1.49]) (p < .001). Among past-year drinkers at all ages (14–17 years; n = 7,796), the differential impact of low parental education was particularly large with respect to the frequency of intoxication (RR = 1.68, 95% CI [1.39, 2.02]) compared with the frequency of drinking (RR = 1.42, 95% CI [1.24, 1.62]) (p < .001) and frequent symptoms of excessive drinking (RR = 1.80, 95% CI [1.47, 2.20]) compared with any symptoms (RR = 1.07, 95% CI [1.01, 1.14]) (p < .001). A similar but somewhat less clear pattern emerged when using an alternative indicator for low parental SES.

Conclusions: Parents’ social standing was inversely related to alcohol use by youth and related more strongly so to more deviant and harmful drinking behaviors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 79, no 1, p. 132-136
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151550DOI: 10.15288/jsad.2018.79.132ISI: 000425287900022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151550DiVA, id: diva2:1174085
Available from: 2018-01-15 Created: 2018-01-15 Last updated: 2018-03-05Bibliographically approved

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