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Addict Behav. 2005 Jan;30(1):151-8.

Do school surroundings matter? Alcohol outlet density, perception of adolescent drinking in public, and adolescent alcohol use.

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Research Department, Swiss Institute for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Problems, P.O. Box 870, 1001 Lausanne, Switzerland.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between alcohol outlet density, perception of adolescent drinking in public (both assessed at the school level), and adolescent drinking and drunkenness at individual level. Hierarchical linear regression models were calculated based on data from 1194 ninth graders in Switzerland (mean age=15.3, S.D.=0.7) and their schoolmasters (n=61). Apart from the positive main effects, the results reveal a negative interaction of alcohol outlet density and perception of adolescent drinking in public in predicting individual alcohol use among adolescents. In regions with a high density of shops, it appears that the schoolmasters' perception reflects the general drinking norm of the area where the school is located rather than the actual drinking level of adolescents. More research is needed, particularly in Europe and among adolescent populations, to reach a better understanding of school level predictors of adolescent alcohol use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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