Home > Alcohol consumption among university students: a latent class analysis.

Davoren, Martin P and Dahly, Darren L and Shiely, Frances and Perry, Ivan J (2018) Alcohol consumption among university students: a latent class analysis. Drugs: Education Prevention and Policy, 25, (5), pp. 422-430.

Alcohol consumption is the number one public health concern in the university student population. The heterogeneous nature of university students’ consumption has recently been highlighted. Thus, the aim of the current research was to use latent class analysis to employ a person centred approach to describe alcohol consumption among university students with particular reference to gender.


Questionnaires were distributed to students attending lectures in randomly selected degrees in one university. A total of 2332 self-completed questionnaires were obtained, yielding a response rate of 84%. Latent class analysis was conducted.


In total, 830 men and 1367 women were analysed separately to uncover latent class structures. Harms, attitudes and consumption patterns were included in a model totalling to 26 variables. A 3-class structure best described men, while a 4-class structure best described women. Both men and women reported a class of “Guarded Drinkers”, “Responsible Conformers” and “Realistic Hedonists”. The remaining class of women was described as “Peer-influenced drinkers”. Identifying consumption typologies provides those working on tackling excessive alcohol consumption with profiles to implement tailored health promotion strategies.


Additional research is required to confirm these results, develop screening tools and tailor motivational interventions which incorporate these profiles.

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