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Special Issue "Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Communication and Informatics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Francisco Caamaño Isorna
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Public Health, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago, Spain
Interests: explanatory factors and consequences of alcohol consumption among college students

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Alcohol consumption has become a social and health problem among adolescents and young people in recent years. The prevalence of consumption and the age of the habit´s onset, shown in the WHO regional reports, are alarming. Adolescence and early adulthood—from 12 to 25 years old—are characterized for structural and biochemical changes in the nervous system, and constitute a period of vital cycles, especially vulnerable for alcohol and other drug abuse. Binge drinking, heavy drinking, or risky consumption constitute different patterns of alcohol consumption, and these patterns present different prevalence rates, explicative factors, and consequences among adolescents and young people.

Although a significant number of studies on this topic have been published in recent years, the literature shows that it is still necessary to adequately characterize the epidemiology and clinical use of alcohol consumption between the age of 12 and 25 years. Therefore, we are especially interested in manuscripts that address the following: (1) identifying the explanatory factors of consumption, mainly the contextual and psychological ones, and its association with other addictions/habits ; (2) assessing the selective attentional bias to alcohol-related stimuli in relation to different patterns of consumption; (3) characterizing the neurocognitive, academic, and social consequences of the various patterns of consumption; (4) defining the proportion of consumers that evolve towards an alcohol use disorder; and determine its risk and protective factors; and finally, (5) determining the impact of the pattern of consumption on the social integration of the subject.

Prof. Dr. Francisco Caamaño Isorna
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Adolescents
  • Social factors
  • Neurocognitive
  • Epidemiology

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
We Need to Delay the Age of Onset of Alcohol Consumption
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2739; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17082739 - 16 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
In recent years, new consumption patterns, such as binge drinking, have increased among young people and have not always been recognized as problematic either by health personnel or by society in general, as they are intensive episodes, interspersed with no consumption periods. Although [...] Read more.
In recent years, new consumption patterns, such as binge drinking, have increased among young people and have not always been recognized as problematic either by health personnel or by society in general, as they are intensive episodes, interspersed with no consumption periods. Although the prevalence of alcohol use disorders in the adult population continues to be higher in men than in women, these gender differences in relation to alcohol consumption are barely observed in adolescents between 14 and 18. Therefore, we are witnessing a change in the pattern of consumption, from regular to episodic, and an attenuation of gender differences. New patterns of alcohol consumption have not only been associated with an increased risk of alcohol use disorders in adult life, but also with neurocognitive involvement in youth. Understanding the risk and resilience factors of alcoholism or problematic drinking patterns will not only allow us to identify the most vulnerable group, but also to guide prevention programs towards protective factors; the skills that contribute to the natural abandonment of the pattern. Knowing the variables involved in the trajectories of abandonment and dependency would contribute to personalizing the interventions and increasing their efficacy and success—a lower relapse rate—, reducing the economic and socio-sanitary costs associated with alcohol dependency, as well as improving the health and well-being, family relations, work and social status of alcohol-dependent people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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Research

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Article
The Prevalence and Context of Alcohol Use, Problem Drinking and Alcohol-Related Harm among Youth Living in the Slums of Kampala, Uganda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2451; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072451 - 03 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Background. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the prevalence and context of alcohol use, problem drinking and alcohol-related harm among boys and girls in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Methods. The Kampala Youth Survey is a cross-sectional study conducted in 2014 [...] Read more.
Background. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the prevalence and context of alcohol use, problem drinking and alcohol-related harm among boys and girls in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Methods. The Kampala Youth Survey is a cross-sectional study conducted in 2014 among youth (ages 12–18 years) living in the slums of Kampala (n = 1133) who were participating in Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) centers. Chi-square tests were used to determine differences in alcohol use behaviors between 1) gender (boys vs. girls), and 2) alcohol use behaviors between problem drinkers and non-problem drinkers, stratified by gender. Results. Among all participants (n = 1133), the prevalence of any alcohol use in the past 12 months was 31% (n = 346). A higher percentage of girl drinkers reported having sex in the past month, without a condom (57.9%) due to alcohol consumption, compared to boy drinkers (41.9%) (   χ 2 = 8.09, df = 1, p = 0.005). For girl and boy drinkers, nearly half (49.5% and 44.1%, respectively) met the criteria for problem drinkers, measured using the Cut-Annoyed-Guilty-Eye-Opener (CAGE) questionnaire. Conclusions. The high prevalence of alcohol use and problem drinking among youth, as well as alcohol-related harm, warrant urgent alcohol prevention and intervention strategies, particularly among these underserved girls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
Article
Population Attributable Fraction of Early Age of Onset of Alcohol Use in Alcohol Abuse and Dependence: A 3-Year Follow-Up Study in University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 2159; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17062159 - 24 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Background: we aimed to determine the risk factors and associated population attributable fractions (PAFs) for the age of onset of alcohol use and also to identify protective factors. Methods: we analyzed follow-up data collected between autumn 2011 and spring 2016 (n = [...] Read more.
Background: we aimed to determine the risk factors and associated population attributable fractions (PAFs) for the age of onset of alcohol use and also to identify protective factors. Methods: we analyzed follow-up data collected between autumn 2011 and spring 2016 (n = 5170) from the first two cohorts (2011, 2012) of the Spit for ScienceTM project. The dependent variables were alcohol abuse and dependence, and the independent variables were age of drinking onset, residence, ethnicity, religiosity, sexual orientation and work status. We determined the odds ratios (OR) using multilevel logistic regression for repeated measures in SPSSv.20. Results: the early onset of alcohol use was associated with an increased risk of alcohol abuse and dependence among females (OR = 14.98; OR = 11.83) and males (OR = 7.41; OR = 6.24). The PAFs for the early onset of alcohol use in alcohol abuse and dependence were respectively 80.9% and 71.7% in females and 71.0% and 63.5% in males. Among females, being white (OR = 1.58; OR = 1.51), living off-campus (OR = 1.73; OR = 2.76) and working full-time (OR = 1.69; OR = 1.78) were also risk factors. Strong religious beliefs were found to protect males from alcohol abuse (OR = 0.58), while same-gender sexual orientation increased the risk among females (OR = 2.09). Conclusion: delaying the age of onset by one year would reduce alcohol abuse among young adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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Article
Perceptions of the Use of Alcohol and Drugs after Sudden Bereavement by Unnatural Causes: Analysis of Online Qualitative Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 677; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17030677 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1575
Abstract
Bereavement is associated with an increased risk of psychiatric morbidity and all-cause mortality, particularly in younger people and after unnatural deaths. Substance misuse is implicated but little research has investigated patterns of drug or alcohol use after bereavement. We used a national online [...] Read more.
Bereavement is associated with an increased risk of psychiatric morbidity and all-cause mortality, particularly in younger people and after unnatural deaths. Substance misuse is implicated but little research has investigated patterns of drug or alcohol use after bereavement. We used a national online survey to collect qualitative data describing whether and how substance use changes after sudden bereavement. We conducted thematic analysis of free-text responses to a question probing use of alcohol and drugs after the sudden unnatural (non-suicide) death of a family member or a close friend. We analysed data from 243 adults in British Higher Education Institutions aged 18–40, identifying two main themes describing post-bereavement alcohol or drug use: (1) sense of control over use of drugs or alcohol (loss of control versus self-discipline), (2) harnessing the specific effects of drugs or alcohol. Across themes we identified age patterning in relation to substance misuse as a form of rebellion among those bereaved in childhood, and gender patterning in relation to men using alcohol to help express their emotions. The limitations of our sampling mean that these findings may not be generalizable from highly-educated settings to young people in the general population. Our findings describe how some young bereaved adults use drugs and alcohol to help them cope with traumatic loss, and suggest how clinicians might respond to any difficulties controlling substance use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
Article
Substance Use among Spanish Adolescents: The Information Paradox
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 627; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17020627 - 18 Jan 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1176
Abstract
This aim of this paper is to determine the relationship between the consumption of tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol (including drunkenness and binge drinking consumption patterns) in the previous 30 days by Spanish adolescents and the information that is available to adolescents on drug [...] Read more.
This aim of this paper is to determine the relationship between the consumption of tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol (including drunkenness and binge drinking consumption patterns) in the previous 30 days by Spanish adolescents and the information that is available to adolescents on drug consumption. This cross-sectional study employed data from the Survey on Drug Use in Secondary Education in Spain (ESTUDES 2016), which was conducted on students aged 14 to 18 (n = 35,369). Contingency tables, mean comparison tests, and logistic regression analyses were conducted and prevalence ratios (PR) were obtained. The results show that the probability that an adolescent will smoke tobacco is associated with whether their mother and/or father smoke (PR: 1.30), whether some of their friends smoke (PR: 14.23), whether the majority of their friends smoke (PR: 94.05) and how well informed they perceive themselves to be (PR: 1.30). Cannabis use is mainly associated with whether most of their friends also use cannabis (PR: 93.05) and whether they are sufficiently informed regarding this consumption (PR: 1.59). Alcohol consumption is associated with whether their mothers drink regularly (PR: 1.21), whether most of their friends drink (PR: 37.29), and whether they are well informed (PR: 1.28). Getting drunk and binge drinking are associated with whether their friends have these behaviors (PR: 44.81 and 7.36, respectively) and whether they are sufficiently informed (PR: 1.23 for both behaviors). In conclusion, the consumption of these substances is more frequent among Spanish adolescents who believe that they are better informed and whose friends have similar patterns of consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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Article
Binge Drinking, Cannabis Co-Consumption and Academic Achievement in First Year University Students in Spain: Academic Adjustment as a Mediator
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(2), 542; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17020542 - 15 Jan 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Little is known about how binge drinking or the combination of binge drinking and cannabis consumption affect academic achievement in students during the transition to university, or about the mechanisms that mediate this relationship. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the [...] Read more.
Little is known about how binge drinking or the combination of binge drinking and cannabis consumption affect academic achievement in students during the transition to university, or about the mechanisms that mediate this relationship. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between this pattern of alcohol/cannabis consumption and academic achievement, considering academic adjustment as a possible mediator. A total of 258 Spanish, first-year university students (145 females and 113 males), enrolled in undergraduate degree courses, were categorized into three groups on the basis of their patterns of alcohol/cannabis consumption: control, binge drinkers and co-consumers. The findings showed a significant effect of the combined binge drinking/cannabis consumption, but not of binge drinking alone, upon academic achievement and academic adjustment. Grade point average (GPA) and academic adjustment were lower in the co-consumers than in the other groups. Regarding the mediation effect, 34.33% of the impact of combined alcohol/cannabis use on GPA was mediated by academic adjustment. The combined consumption of alcohol and cannabis led to difficulties in adaptation to academic life, which in turn contributed to poorer performance at university. The implications of the findings are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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Article
Binge Drinking in Spanish University Students: Associated Factors and Repercussions: A Preliminary Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4822; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16234822 - 30 Nov 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Alcohol consumption is common among young people. We performed a preliminary cross-sectional study among students (aged 18–30 years) enrolled for the academic year 2018–2019 at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Cantabria (Spain). We collected information on psychological and sociographic factors, tobacco and [...] Read more.
Alcohol consumption is common among young people. We performed a preliminary cross-sectional study among students (aged 18–30 years) enrolled for the academic year 2018–2019 at the Faculty of Nursing, University of Cantabria (Spain). We collected information on psychological and sociographic factors, tobacco and cannabis uses, and levels of physical activity by AUDIT questionnaires and in person interviews. The aim of our study was to assess the potential of binge drinking (BD) to adversely affect memory and executive function. We recruited 103 students, of whom 85% were female. The alcohol use pattern of slightly more than one-half of the total population was classified as BD. Among BD students, one-fourth were smokers, and nearly one-third had tried cannabis. The mean onset for alcohol use was 15.11 years. Despite our relatively small sample size, our results show that there are strong relationships between BD and both smoking and cannabis use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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Article
Electrophysiological Correlates of an Alcohol-Cued Go/NoGo Task: A Dual-Process Approach to Binge Drinking in University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4550; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16224550 - 18 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
Binge drinking is a common pattern of alcohol consumption in adolescence and youth. Neurocognitive dual-process models attribute substance use disorders and risk behaviours during adolescence to an imbalance between an overactivated affective-automatic system (involved in motivational and affective processing) and a reflective system [...] Read more.
Binge drinking is a common pattern of alcohol consumption in adolescence and youth. Neurocognitive dual-process models attribute substance use disorders and risk behaviours during adolescence to an imbalance between an overactivated affective-automatic system (involved in motivational and affective processing) and a reflective system (involved in cognitive inhibitory control). The aim of the present study was to investigate at the electrophysiological level the degree to which the motivational value of alcohol-related stimuli modulates the inhibition of a prepotent response in binge drinkers. First-year university students (n = 151, 54 % females) classified as binge drinkers (n = 71, ≥6 binge drinking episodes, defined as 5/7 standard drinks per occasion in the last 180 days) and controls (n = 80, <6 binge drinking episodes in the last 180 days) performed a beverage Go/NoGo task (pictures of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks were presented according to the condition as Go or NoGo stimuli; Go probability = 0.75) during event-related potential recording. In binge drinkers but not controls, the amplitude of the anterior N2-NoGo was larger in response to nonalcohol than in response to alcohol pictures. No behavioural difference in task performance was observed. In terms of dual-process models, binge drinkers may require increased activation to monitor conflict in order to compensate for overactivation of the affective-automatic system caused by alcohol-related bias. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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Article
Heavy Drinking and Non-Medical Use of Prescription Drugs among University Students: A 9-Year Follow-Up
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2939; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16162939 - 16 Aug 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1587
Abstract
Purpose: Investigations suggest non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) is associated with heavy drinking and polydrug use among university students. Our aim is to determine the prevalence of NMUPD among university students and to analyze its association with alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use, [...] Read more.
Purpose: Investigations suggest non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) is associated with heavy drinking and polydrug use among university students. Our aim is to determine the prevalence of NMUPD among university students and to analyze its association with alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use, and to study the role of the age of drinking onset. Methods: Cohort study among university Spanish students (n = 1382). Heavy drinking (HED) and risky consumption (RC) were measured with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Questions related to tobacco and cannabis consumption were also formulated. NMUPD refers to sedative, anxiety, or pain medication intake within the last 15 days without medical prescription. All variables were measured at 18, 20, and 27 years. Multilevel logistic regression for repeated measures was used to obtain adjusted OR (odds ratios). We analyzed the results from a gender perspective. Results: Prevalence of NMUPD were higher in students who already partook in NMUPD at the beginning of the study. NMUPD in women at 27 is 3 times higher than at 18, while in men it is twice. Among females, RC (OR = 1.43) and cannabis consumption (OR = 1.33) are risk factors for NMUPD, while later onset of alcohol use (OR = 0.66) constitutes a protective factor. No significant differences were found for males. Conclusions: NMUPD is prevalent among university students. RC and early onset of alcohol use were associated with higher prevalence of NMUPD in females. The prevalence of NMUPD increased with age in both sexes. Strategies for reducing risky drinking and delaying onset of drinking should be provided for university students. Pharmacists and parents should be alerted to the risk of NMUPD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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Article
A Multilevel Study of Alcohol Consumption in Young Adults: Self-Efficacy, Peers’ Motivations and Protective Strategies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(16), 2827; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16162827 - 08 Aug 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1335
Abstract
In both developing and underdeveloped countries there has been a worrying increase in the number of young people drinking alcohol; this public health problem warrants more research. This multilevel study analyzed the influence of drinking refusal self-efficacy, peers’ motivation, and protective behavioral strategies [...] Read more.
In both developing and underdeveloped countries there has been a worrying increase in the number of young people drinking alcohol; this public health problem warrants more research. This multilevel study analyzed the influence of drinking refusal self-efficacy, peers’ motivation, and protective behavioral strategies as predictors of alcohol consumption in a sample of 261 young people arranged into 52 social groups (peers who regularly shared leisure activities). A series of questionnaires were administered individually to evaluate beliefs and behaviors related to alcohol consumption at both individual level (drinking refusal self-efficacy) and peer level (enhancement motivation and protective behavioral strategies). The results showed that the individual variable (drinking refusal self-efficacy) predicted alcohol consumption behaviors. The multilevel design allowed us to evaluate the direct and moderated effects of peers’ enhancement motivation and protective behavioral strategies on the relationship between self-efficacy and drinking behavior. These results show the importance of developing cognitive, behavioral, and educational intervention programs to increase young people and university students’ confidence and ability to use protective strategies, in order to reduce alcohol use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young People)
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