Journal Article

The effect of societal changes on drunkenness trends in early adolescence

Lintonen, T., Rimpelä, M. K., Vikat, A., Rimpelä, A. H.
Health Education Research, 15:3, 261–269 (2000)


Increased adolescent drunkenness in Finland has called for research to explore the background of this development. This study seeks to find out to what extent the societal level changes have contributed to the increased drunkenness among 14 year olds in Finland from 1981 to 1997. The data set is drawn from a nationally representative bi-annual mail study, the Adolescent Health and Lifestyle Survey, conducted since 1981 (N =792–2533, response rate 77–90% per year). Logistic regression analysis was used to study the effect of several background factors on the drunkenness prevalence trend. Family structure, parental education, residence urbanization, weekly allowance and timing of biological maturation were associated with drunkenness. Changes within the distribution of these factors, especially in increased weekly allowance and earlier timing of biological maturation, appeared to account for a considerable part of the increased drunkenness from 1981 to 1997. The findings suggest that increased adolescent drunkenness is significantly associated with societal changes outside the scope of health and alcohol policies. (© 2000 OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS)
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