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Social Inequalities in Harmful Drinking and Alcohol-Related Problems Among Swedish Adolescents
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; The Swedish Council for Information on Alcohol and Other Drugs, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Alcohol and Alcoholism, ISSN 0735-0414, E-ISSN 1464-3502Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Aims: The study aims to examine how socio-economic status (SES) among youth is related to binge-drinking and alcohol-related problems using three SES indicators: (i) SES of origin (parental education level), (ii) SES of the school environment (average parental education level at student’s school) and (iii) SES of destination (academic orientation).

Methods: Cross-sectional data on upper secondary students (n= 4448) in Sweden. Multilevel logistic and negative binomial regression were used to estimate the relationship between each SES indicator and binge-drinking and alcohol-related problems, respectively.

Results: Only SES of destination was significantly associated with binge-drinking, with higher odds for students in vocational programmes (OR= 1.42, 95% CI= 1.13–1.80). For the second outcome, SES of destination (rr=1.25; 95%CI=1.08–1.45) and SES of the school environment (rr=1.19, 95% CI=1.02–1.39) indicated more alcohol-related problems in vocational programmes and in schools with lower-educated parents. After adjustment for drinking patterns, the relationship remained for SES of the school environment, but became non-significant for SES of destination.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that the SES gradient among youth is stronger for alcohol-related problems than for harmful drinking. By only focusing on SES differences in harmful alcohol use, researchers may underestimate the social inequalities in adverse alcohol-related outcomes among young people. Our findings also support the notion that the environment young people find themselves in matters for social inequalities in alcohol-related harm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
alcohol, adolescents, alcohol-related problems, socio-economic status
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169852DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agz044OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169852DiVA, id: diva2:1327105
Available from: 2019-06-19 Created: 2019-06-19 Last updated: 2019-07-12

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