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J Stud Alcohol. 2001 Nov;62(6):741-4.

Alcohol consumption and academic performance in a population of Spanish high school students.

Author information

1
Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology, Department of Physiology, University of Granada, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The present study was designed to identify patterns of alcohol consumption among Spanish high school students and describe the relationship between alcohol intake and school performance.

METHOD:

The sample population consisted of students, aged 14 to 19 years, who were attending high school during the academic year 1994-95 in the city of Granada in southern Spain. We studied 1,602 (861 female) students (alpha error - 0.05, sampling error = 5%), using a self-administered questionnaire that contained items about individual and family demographics, quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption, and school performance. Total alcohol consumption was recorded as grams (g) of alcohol per week and per day for three categories of alcoholic drinks: wine, beer and distilled spirits.

RESULTS:

The percentage of nondrinkers was 21.05% for male adolescents and 28.56% for female adolescents. The mean amount of alcohol consumed per week was larger in male than in female students (F= 18.36, l/l,594 df, p < .001) and distilled spirits accounted for the largest proportion of alcohol consumed. No significant differences in drinking patterns were found between students at public and private schools. The risk of academic failure increased considerably when more than 150 g of alcohol were consumed per week (OR: 2.91; 95% CI: 1.94-4.43).

CONCLUSIONS:

Although we cannot draw any conclusions about the causes of the association between academic failure and teenage drinking, our results do show that the risk of failing increases together with alcohol intake. However, it should be noted that academic achievement is also influenced by many factors other than alcohol consumption.

PMID:
11838909
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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