International Perspectives on Adolescent and Young Adult Drinking

Ahlström, Salme K.; Österberg, Esa L.
December 2004
Alcohol Research & Health;2004/2005, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p258
Academic Journal
Alcohol consumption by adolescents and young adults varies greatly in different countries and cultures, in different population groups with in a country, and over time. Analyses of per capita consumption in different countries provide some information on drinking patterns of young people in various countries. School-based surveys conducted in a variety of European countries and in the United States offer more specific insight into the drinking behavior of this age group. Such surveys have analyzed variables such as age of onset of drinking; lifetime frequency of drinking; drinking to intoxication; frequency, amount, and timing of current drinking; and drinking consequences. These studies have demonstrated that drinking patterns of young people in, for example, Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, and Mediterranean countries vary greatly. Further analyses have explored the influence of social norms and related factors as well as alcohol availability and pricing on alcohol consumption among adolescents and young adults. The generalizability of the findings is limited, however, by the fact that most studies have been conducted in the United States and Europe.


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