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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel


CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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2191-0278
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Volume 30, Issue 1

Issues

Alcohol misuse and gateway theory: a longitudinal study among adolescents in Switzerland

Yara Barrense-Dias
  • Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP), Lausanne University Hospital, 1010 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ André Berchtold / Christina Akre
  • Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP), Lausanne University Hospital, 1010 Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Joan-Carles Surís
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (IUMSP), Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV), Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne, Switzerland, Phone: +4121 3147375, Fax: +4121 3147373
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-04-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2016-0004

Abstract

Objective:

Adolescence is a transitory and exploratory stage during which risky behaviors such as substance use take place. This study aims to assess the characteristics and predictive risk factors of alcohol misuse among adolescents.

Methods:

A sample of 621 youths was followed from ages 14 to 16 years in Switzerland between spring 2012 (T0) and spring 2014 (T1). Participants were divided into two groups according to their alcohol misuse evolution: those who increased it (Misusers) and those who decreased or never experimented it (Non-misusers). The final sample consisted of 574 adolescents. At T0, participants reported demographic data, substance use data and emotional well-being. A multivariate regression was performed to assess the explanatory variables of alcohol misuse at T1 using Non-misusers as the reference category.

Results:

Alcohol misuse in the previous month increased dramatically from 2.4% (T0) to 29.2% (T1). At the bivariate level, alcohol misuse was associated with residence, use of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis. Compared to Non-misusers, Misusers were significantly more likely to live in a rural area (aOR: 1.75 [1.1:2.8]), use cannabis (aOR: 3.2 [1.0:9.8]) and have consumed alcohol (aOR: 2.65 [1.6:4.3]) at T0.

Conclusion:

Alcohol misuse increases dramatically with age. However, the only demographic difference between groups was that young adolescents living in rural areas were more likely to misuse alcohol. Moreover, having consumed alcohol without drunkenness and using cannabis at age 14 years predicted alcohol misuse at age 16 years. This finding is in line with the reverse gateway theory, where cannabis use precedes the use of legal substances.

Keywords: adolescents; alcohol; cannabis; gateway theory; substance use

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About the article

Received: 2016-01-13

Accepted: 2016-02-28

Published Online: 2016-04-11


Author contributions: Yara Barrense-Dias ( ) analyzed and interpreted the data, drafted and revised the manuscript, and approved the final version of the manuscript as submitted. André Berchtold ( ) conceptualized and designed the study, obtained funding, analyzed and interpreted the data, critically revised the manuscript, and approved the final version of the manuscript as submitted. Christina Akre ( ) conceptualized and designed the study, coordinated data collection, critically revised the manuscript, and approved the final version of the manuscript as submitted. Joan-Carles Surís ( ) conceptualized and designed the study, obtained funding, acquired, analyzed and interpreted the data, critically revised the manuscript, and approved the final version of the manuscript as submitted.

Declaration of interest: The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.

Ethics approval: This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the canton of Vaud.

Financial support: The ado@internet.ch study has been financed by the Service of Public Health of the canton of Vaud and by the Swiss National Science Foundation (FNS 105319_140354). The funding bodies had no role in the design and conduct of the study; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; or in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript.


Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 30, Issue 1, 20160004, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2016-0004.

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