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Braz J Psychiatry. 2012 Jun;34(2):193-200.

Socioeconomic influences on alcohol use patterns among private school students in São Paulo.

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Psychobiology, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.



To describe alcohol use by socioeconomic level and gender among private high school students in the city of São Paulo, Brazil.


Cross-sectional study of students in private schools in São Paulo. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was distributed in the classroom. A total of 2,613 students were selected by the stratification and conglomerate methods. Chi-squared tests, t-tests and ANOVA were used to test for associations between alcohol use and gender and socioeconomic status; for binge drinking, an ordered logistic regression model was developed.


Overall, 88% of students reported lifetime alcohol use, with 31.6% in combination with energy drinks. Half of the students (51.3%) reported alcohol use in the last month, most frequently beer (35.2%), alcopop (32%) and vodka (31.7%); 33.2% reported binge drinking in the last month (5 drinks per occasion). Most evaluated parameters showed higher rates of use among males and higher social classes. The regression model exhibited an increasing rate of binge drinking with increasing socioeconomic status.


The results suggest that socioeconomic features help to define alcohol use among São Paulo students. Use behaviors such as binge drinking are more prevalent among students from the upper social classes.

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