A study explored the sociodemographic characteristics associated with alcohol consumption among young adolescents in 2 separate regions in French-speaking Belgium. These two regions are characterised by distinct sociocultural and economic contexts, which could lead to differences in alcohol consumption and determinants of consumption.
The two regions were the Walloon Region (WR) and the French part of the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR). Analyses were based on data collected with self-administered questionnaires within the 2014 “Health Behaviour in School-aged Children” (HBSC) cross-sectional survey, among 5029 10–14-yearold adolescents. Alcohol consumption was defined has having drunk at least one day during the last 30 days before the survey. Sociodemographic characteristics included the sex, age, socioeconomic status measured through the “Family Affluence Scale”, family structure, and migration background. Associations between sociodemographic characteristics and alcohol consumption were estimated using multivariable logistic regressions models, separately for the WR and the BCR.
In the Walloon Region, 22% of 10–14-year-old reported having consumed alcohol at least one day during the last 30 days before the survey. After adjustments, adolescents aged 13–14 years compared with those aged 10–12 years (OR: 4.74 boys versus girls (OR: 1.23 and natives compared with adolescents with foreign origins (OR: 1.60 were more likely to consume alcohol. In addition, adolescents living in a single-parent family (1.53) or a stepfamily (1.52) were more likely to consume alcohol than those living with their two parents. Concerning the socioeconomic status, adolescents from “medium” (1.45) or “high” (1.68) socioeconomic status were more likely to consume alcohol than those from “low” socioeconomic status. In the BCR, 9% of 10–14-year-old reported having consumed alcohol at least one day during the last 30 days before the survey. After adjustments, like in RW, boys (1.88) 13–14-year olds (2.40), adolescents from stepfamilies (3.32), those from “high” socioeconomic status (2.83) and natives (2.05) were more likely to consume alcohol. A significant interaction between gender and family structure was identified. Alcohol consumption was not socially marked among young boys; all associations were non-significant. Conversely, among young girls, those aged 13–14 years (4.80), those from stepfamilies (8.02) or singleparent families (6.82) those from “high” (10.80) or “medium” (4.06) socioeconomic status and natives (2.96) were more likely to consume alcohol.
The researchers found that despite very different prevalence, alcohol consumption in young adolescence was associated with the same sociodemographic characteristics in both regions. However gender differences varied between RW and RBC. These results highlight the sociodemographic profile of adolescents to be targeted in the awareness-raising measures to the danger of early alcohol consumption.
Source: Sociodemographic correlates of alcohol consumption among young adolescents from two different sociocultural contexts in Belgium. C.Pedroni M.Dujeu T.Lebacq N.Moreau E.Méroc I.Godin K.Castetbon. Revue d'Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique. Volume 66, Supplement 5, July 2018, Page S404