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Prev Med. 2007 Aug-Sep;45(2-3):233-9. Epub 2007 May 13.

Cumulative risk factors for adolescent alcohol misuse and its perceived consequences among 16 to 20 year old adolescents in Switzerland.

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Groupe de recherche sur la santé des adolescents et Unité multidisciplinaire de santé des adolescents, Institut universitaire de médecine sociale & préventive, Lausanne, Switzerland.



To assess the cumulative impact of environmental and individual factors associated with adolescent alcohol misuse and their correlation with self-reported consequences of drinking.


Cross-sectional school-based survey of a nationally representative sample of 7548 post-mandatory school students and apprentices aged 16-20 years, Switzerland 2002. Alcohol misuse defined by frequency of alcohol use, episodes of drunkenness and driving while drunk.


Fifteen significant risk factors were identified among both boys, and girls. An individual score of cumulated risk factors was created by adding the risk factors. The association between the score and the likelihood of being engaged in alcohol misuse was highly significant and dose-dependent (p<.001). A significant proportion of adolescents report perceived adverse consequences of their alcohol consumption. A linear trend (p<.001) was found between the score of risk factors and the proportion of respondents reporting problems related to drinking such as diminished school performance, physical hazard, relational problems and current risky sexual behavior.


Risk factors for adolescent alcohol misuse are cumulative and can be synthesized into an individual score correlated with the likeliness of misuse. A further indication of the validity of this score is its linear relationship with self-reported problems related to drinking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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