3 years ago

Drinking trajectories of at-risk groups: Does the theory of the collectivity of drinking apply?

Thor Norström, Jonas Raninen
Introduction and Aims Alcohol consumption among Swedish adolescents has halved during the last decade. We aim to: (i) investigate whether the overall decrease in drinking may conceal an underlying heterogeneity in drinking trajectories across at-risk groups that differ with respect to risk for drinking and; (ii) assess to what degree alcohol-related harm has responded to this decrease. Design and Methods Data were obtained from the nationally representative annual school survey of alcohol and drug habits among Swedish ninth-grade students covering the period 2000–2012 (n ≈ 5000/year). Respondents were divided into five at-risk groups ranging from low to high based on their relative ranking on a risk scale for drinking. Alcohol consumption was measured by beverage-specific quantity and frequency items summarised into a measure of overall drinking in litres of 100% alcohol per year. Alcohol-related harm was measured by eight items asking about whether the respondent had experienced various alcohol-related negative consequences. Results Drinking and alcohol-related harm decreased in all five at-risk groups. There was a marked relation between the overall consumption and the mean consumption in each of the five at-risk groups. Self-reported alcohol-related harm decreased during the study period to an extent that was expected from the decrease in alcohol consumption. Discussion and Conclusions Alcohol consumption among Swedish youth has declined in five groups that were delineated based on their relative ranking on a risk factor index. The findings are consistent with Skog's theory of the collectivity of drinking behaviour. [Norström T, Raninen J. Drinking trajectories of at-risk groups: Does the theory of the collectivity of drinking apply?. Drug Alcohol Rev 2017;00:000-000]

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/dar.12586

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