Socioeconomic status and alcohol-related behaviors in mid- to late adolescence in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children

Kenneth S Kendler, Charles O Gardner, Matthew Hickman, Jon Heron, Glyn Lewis, Danielle M Dick, John A A Macleod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Prior studies of the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and alcohol consumption and problems in adolescence have been inconclusive. Few studies have examined all three major SES indicators and a broad range of alcohol-related outcomes at different ages.

METHOD: In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children cohort, we examined (by logistic regression, with differential weighting to control for attrition) the relationship between family income and parental education and occupational status, and five alcohol outcomes assessed at ages 16 and 18 years.

RESULTS: At age 16, high SES-as indexed by income and education-significantly predicted frequent alcohol consumption. Low SES-as measured by education and occupational status-predicted alcohol-related problems. At age 18, high SES-particularly income and education-significantly predicted frequent alcohol consumption and heavy episodic drinking and, more weakly, symptoms of alcohol dependence. All three measures of SES were inversely related to high-quantity consumption and alcohol behavioral problems.

CONCLUSIONS: In adolescents in the United Kingdom, the relationship between SES and alcohol-related behaviors is complex and varies as a function of age, SES measure, and specific outcome. High SES tends to predict increased consumption and, in later adolescence, heavy episodic drinking and perhaps symptoms of alcohol dependence. Low SES predicts alcohol-related behavioral problems and, in later adolescence, high-quantity alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-545
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Volume75
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • BIRTH COHORT
  • DRINKING
  • POSITION
  • YOUTHS

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