21 September 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

AIMS: Unlike adults, abstaining has increased and regular use of alcohol has decreased among 12-16-year-olds over the past two decades. The paper studies whether these developments will be continued as the adolescent cohorts come of age.

METHODS: The Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey is a nationally representative monitoring system of the health habits of 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-year-old Finns, conducted biannually between 1981 and 2013. The prevalence of alcohol use and drunkenness were measured for each 5-year cohort born in 1967-1995. Age-by-cohort trajectories and hierarchical age-period-cohort (APC) modeling were used to assess effects of age, period, and birth cohort.

RESULTS: Cohorts differentiate for underage drinking, but not at the age of 18. The younger cohorts postpone their drinking debut compared with older cohorts and thus age profiles are steeper than before. The most recent cohorts born in the 1990s, and the oldest cohorts born in 1967-71, have the highest prevalence in abstinence but drinking has been more prevalent for cohorts born in 1973-1989. APC modeling confirms significant cohort effects, but no significant decrease in drinking or drunkenness at the age of 18 years. Some of the changes can also be attributed to period effects.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the decrease in underage drinking in Finland, 18-year-olds continue to drink similarly from cohort to another postponing the onset of drinking has a preventive effect on alcohol-related harms, but a reduction in drinking among adult cohorts is not evident in the future.

21 September 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

AIMS: To assess temporal trends of adolescent alcohol use in Finland from 2000 to 2011, according to socio-economic status and depression.

METHODS: Classroom self-administered questionnaires concerning health, health behaviours and school experiences were administered biennially from 2000-2001 to 2010-2011 to nationwide samples of 14- to 16-year-olds (n = 618,084). Alcohol use was measured as the frequencies of drinking and drunkenness. Socioeconomic status was measured using parental education and unemployment. Depression was measured using a Finnish modification of the Beck Depression Inventory. Cross-tabulations and a logistic regression analysis were applied.

RESULTS: Over the study period, rates of frequent drinking and frequent drunkenness decreased among both boys and girls. Low levels of parental education and unemployment as well as adolescent depression increased the likelihoods of frequent drinking and drunkenness. Unlike the general decreasing trend observed for alcohol use, the likelihoods of frequent drinking and drunkenness increased among adolescents who were depressed and had unemployed parents with low levels of education. The prevalence of frequent drunkenness was 75.8% among the boys in this group during 2008-2011, whereas the corresponding prevalence was 2.3% for boys without depression and with highly educated, employed parents. The corresponding figures for girls were 41.7% and 1.4%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The overall decreasing trend in frequent alcohol use was not observed among socioeconomically deprived adolescents with depression. Thus, alcohol prevention programmes should treat these youth as special targets.

21 September 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

BACKGROUND: While the efficacy and effectiveness of brief interventions for alcohol (ABI) have been demonstrated in primary care, there is weaker evidence in other settings and reviews do not consider differences in content. We conducted a systematic review to measure the effect of ABIs on alcohol consumption and how it differs by the setting, practitioner group and content of intervention.

METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO; CINAHL, Social Science Citation Index, Cochrane Library and Global Health up to January 2015 for randomised controlled trials that measured effectiveness of ABIs on alcohol consumption. We grouped outcomes into measures of quantity and frequency indices. We used multilevel meta-analysis to estimate pooled effect sizes and tested for the effect of moderators through a multiparameter Wald test. Stratified analysis of a subset of quantity and frequency outcomes was conducted as a sensitivity check.

RESULTS: 52 trials were included contributing data on 29 891 individuals. ABIs reduced the quantity of alcohol consumed by 0.15 SDs. While neither the setting nor content appeared to significantly moderate intervention effectiveness, the provider did in some analyses. Interventions delivered by nurses had the most effect in reducing quantity (d=-0.23, 95% CI (-0.33 to -0.13)) but not frequency of alcohol consumption. All content groups had statistically significant mean effects, brief advice was the most effective in reducing quantity consumed (d=-0.20, 95% CI (-0.30 to -0.09)). Effects were maintained in the stratified sensitivity analysis at the first and last assessment time.

CONCLUSIONS: ABIs play a small but significant role in reducing alcohol consumption. Findings show the positive role of nurses in delivering interventions. The lack of evidence on the impact of content of intervention reinforces advice that services should select the ABI tool that best suits their needs.

21 September 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent to Adult Health, we estimate the effect of peers' alcohol consumption and alcohol prices on the drinking habits of high-school-age youth. We use the two-stage residual inclusion method to account for the endogeneity of peer drinking in nonlinear models. For our sample of high school students, we find that peer effects are statistically and economically significant regarding the choice to participate in drinking but are not significant for the frequency of drinking, including binge drinking. Regarding alcohol prices, even though we have good price variation in our sample, alcohol prices are not found to be significant. The results are important for policymakers who are considering policies to reduce underage drinking, as we conclude that no significant impact on underage drinking will result from low-tax states' increasing excise taxes on alcohol so they are similar to those of high-tax states. Policymakers may choose to focus instead on the influence of peers and changing the social norm behavior.

Page 34 of 35


The authors have taken reasonable care in ensuring the accuracy of the information herein at the time of publication and are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Read more on our disclaimer and Privacy Policy.