Based on the Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey 1999 in Finland (N = 2,385), this study aimed at identifying characteristics related to heavy drinking in 14‐year‐olds. The characteristics were studied for association with drinking style (abstinence, occasional drinking, recurring drinking, recurring drunkenness). Two‐thirds of the 14‐year‐olds drank alcohol; 10 per cent of boys and 15 per cent of girls reported recurring drunkenness. Factors showing strongest associations with increased drinking were smoking, lack of parental control and high weekly allowance. Drinking among 14‐year‐olds has developed into being a common behaviour. Early adolescent drinking seems associated with a multitude of background and lifestyle factors, all of which may be helpful in identifying drinkers, although not particularly heavy drinkers. The efforts aimed originally at identifying heavy drinkers will probably yield a rather heterogeneous group with regard to their drinking habits. However, all drinking may be considered problematic, e.g. from the legal point of view. As the factors associated with occasional drinking and heavy drinking were the same, no support can be given to the assumption that there exist any specific “risk factors” for heavy drinkingat this early age.
Lintonen, T.P., Konu, A.I. and Rimpelä, M. (2001), "Identifying potential heavy drinkers in early adolescence", Health Education, Vol. 101 No. 4, pp. 159-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654280110398734Download as .RIS
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