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Gomes de Matos E, Kraus L, Hannemann TV, Soellner R, Piontek D. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2017; 36(6): 797-804.


IFT Institute for Therapeutic Research, Munich, Germany.


(Copyright © 2017, John Wiley and Sons)






INTRODUCTION AND AIMS: This study estimates cross-country variation in socioeconomic disparities in adolescent alcohol use and identifies country-level characteristics associated with these disparities. DESIGN AND METHODS: The association between socioeconomic status (family wealth and parental education) and alcohol use (lifetime use and episodic heavy drinking) of 15- to 16-year-olds from 32 European countries was investigated. Country-level characteristics were national income, income inequality and per capita alcohol consumption. Multilevel modelling was applied.

RESULTS: Across countries, lifetime use was lower in wealthy than in less wealthy families (odds ratio [OR](girls)  = 0.95, OR(boys)  = 0.94). The risk of episodic heavy drinking, in contrast, was higher for children from wealthier families (OR(girls)  = 1.04, OR(boys)  = 1.08) and lower when parents were highly educated (ORs = 0.95-0.98). Socioeconomic disparities varied substantially between countries. National wealth and income inequality were associated with cross-country variation of disparities in lifetime use in few comparisons, such that among girls, the (negative) effect of family wealth was greatest in countries with unequally distributed income (OR = 0.86). Among boys, the (negative) effect of family wealth was greatest in low-income countries (OR = 1.00), and the (positive) effect of mothers' education was greatest in countries with high income inequality (OR = 1.11).

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Socioeconomic disparities in adolescent alcohol use vary across European countries. Broad country-level indicators can explain this variation only to a limited extent, but results point towards slightly greater socioeconomic disparities in drinking in countries of low national income and countries with a high income inequality. [Gomes de Matos E, Kraus L, Hannemann T-V, Soellner R, Piontek D. Cross-cultural variation in the association between family's socioeconomic status and adolescent alcohol use. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;00:000-000].

© 2017 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs.

Language: en


affluence; drinking; education; inequalities; multilevel analysis


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