Personal and social correlates of alcohol consumption among mid-adolescents

J Marsden, A Boys, M Farrell, G Stillwell, K Hutchings, J Hillebrand, P Griffiths

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30 Citations (Scopus)


A prospective, cohort survey of 540 mid-adolescent students was conducted to identify personal, family and social correlates of alcohol use. A structured questionnaire recorded alcohol involvement, other substance use, perceived parental alcohol use and related factors, alcohol-related attitudes and beliefs, psychological well-being, social and peer behaviours, and school conduct problems. Participants drank on 17.5 days in the past 3 months; on a typical drinking day they consumed 4.7 units, with 28.5% reported drinking six or more units. More frequent drinking was independently correlated with being male, perceiving that parents encouraged drinking, drinking without parental knowledge, drinking to alter mood, buying alcoholic beverages, spending more time with friends who drink, perceiving social pressure to drink, and being excluded from school and truanting. Parental discouragement for alcohol was related to more frequent drinking in females and less frequent drinking in males. Drinking more A intensively was associated with use of cannabis, parental encouragement to drink, spending more time with friends who drink, school exclusion, and being in trouble with teachers. These results highlight multidimensional correlates of drinking during mid-adolescence and underline the importance of addressing personal, family, peer, and school conduct factors in school-based alcohol education programmes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427 - 450
Number of pages24
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


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