Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2012; 1(4):(34-322)


Psychosocial factors associated with recent alcohol use among youth

Keith King, Rebecca Vidourek, Mary Haag, Ashley Merianos

Abstract

Background: Youth alcohol use is serious health problem. Consequences of youth alcohol use include suicide, homicide, sexual assault, risky sexual behaviors, unintentional injuries, other drug use, and failing grades. Methods: This study examined whether recent alcohol use among 7th - 12th grade students (N = 54,361) differed based on frequency of pro-social behaviors, risky behaviors; friends’ involvement in alcohol/drug use; and specific parent, teacher and school factors. Results: Results indicated that 20.3% reported using alcohol in the past month. Male students were more likely than female students to report recent use. Hispanic students were also at increased risk for using. Compared to nonusers, recent alcohol users were more involved in risky behaviors, less involved in pro-social behaviors, and less likely to have parents and teachers talk about and set/enforce rules regarding alcohol use. Conclusions: Recent alcohol use is a significant issue among youth with one in four youth reporting this behavior. Positive connections to parents, teachers/school protected students from recent alcohol use.

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