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Home > Alcohol drinking cultures of European adolescents.

Bräker, Astrid B and Soellner, Renate (2016) Alcohol drinking cultures of European adolescents. European Journal of Public Health , 26 , (4) , pp. 581-586.

BACKGROUND: Adolescent alcohol use varies across Europe. Differences in use might be due to variations in social drinking norms. These norms become apparent, e.g. in different proportions of alcohol drinking types per country. This study's purpose is to cluster European countries according to prevalence rates of alcohol drinking habits among adolescents aged 12-16.

METHODS: Based on results of previously done cluster analyses regarding alcohol use patterns in Europe, a second level hierarchical cluster analysis is performed. To do so, the proportions of each drinking pattern per country (non, mild, episodic, frequent and heavy episodic use) across 25 European countries (N= 48 423,M= 13.83 years, 48.5% male) are used as classifying variables.

RESULTS: Three country clusters are extracted that differentiate between eight countries with 'mainly non-using' adolescents, six countries with adolescents who use alcohol in a 'mainly mild but frequent' way and 11 countries that show the 'highest proportions of (heavy) episodic drinking adolescents'.

CONCLUSIONS: When applying and developing intervention strategies, differences in adolescent alcohol drinking cultures (i.e. social drinking norms) within Europe should be focused on. Alcohol policies and prevention programs should take cultural aspects like social drinking norms into account.

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