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Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs

The Journal of Nordic Centre for Welfare and Social Issues

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Volume 32, Issue 4 (Sep 2015)


Alcohol-related sickness absence of young employees in Norway: The impact of social roles and socioeconomic status

Line Schou
  • Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS)
  • Email:
/ Gunn Elisabeth Birkelund
  • Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo
  • Email:
Published Online: 2015-09-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nsad-2015-0040


AIMS – First, to establish whether there are differences in alcohol-related sickness absence according to socioeconomic status and family situation among young employees in Norway. Second, if differences are found, to assess whether they can be attributed mainly to differences in drinking patterns.

METHODS – A sample of young, employed adults was obtained from the fourth wave of the Young in Norway study (2005) and the data were merged with registry data from Statistics Norway (N =1611). The data were analysed using cross tables and logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS – Being male, single, not having children and having a low income were associated with alcohol-related sickness absence, but the association was not significant on education and social status. Introducing frequencies of drinking and drinking to intoxication in the regression model attenuated some associations with alcohol-related sickness absence.

CONCLUSION – Alcohol-related sickness absence is more common among people who are single and without children, and more common among men than women. With the exception of income, socioeconomic factors do not seem to be important. The differences between groups appear to be only partly a result of different drinking patterns.

Keywords: Sickness absence; absenteeism; alcohol; heavy drinking; family roles; socioeconomic status; young employees; Norway


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-09-19

Published in Print: 2015-09-01

Citation Information: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN (Online) 1458-6126, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/nsad-2015-0040. Export Citation

© Line Schou et al.. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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