april 2011

Alcoholic beverage preferences and associated drinking patterns and risk behaviors among high school youth

BACKGROUND: Very little is known about the types of alcoholic beverages preferred by youth in the U.S. and the relationship between beverage preference and demographic and behavioral characteristics of these youth.

PURPOSE: To determine the type of alcoholic beverages consumed by adolescent drinkers and how it varies by drinking patterns.

METHODS: In 2010, an analysis was performed using 2007 data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) conducted among public school students in eight states that included a question on the type of alcohol usually consumed. Analysis was restricted to the 7723 youth who reported consuming at least one drink of alcohol in the past 30 days. Beverage type preferences were analyzed by demographic factors, drinking patterns, and other health-risk behaviors. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the correlates of type-specific alcohol consumption.

RESULTS: Liquor was the strongly preferred alcoholic beverage of choice (43.8%), followed by beer (19.2%) and malt beverages (17.4%), with a very low preference for wine (3.7%) or wine coolers (3.4%). A higher preference for liquor or beer was observed among older youth, among those with a riskier pattern of alcohol consumption (e.g., greater frequency of consumption, binge drinking, or drinking and driving), and among youth who engaged in other risk behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS: Riskier patterns of drinking and other health-risk behaviors are associated with an increased preference for hard liquor and beer. Improved surveillance of alcoholic beverage preferences among youth will enable a better understanding of the factors related to youth drinking, allowing the development of more effective interventions.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Siegel M.B.; Naimi T.S.; Cremeens J.L.; Nelson D.E.
  • Issue

    Am.J.Prev.Med. / pages 419-426 / volume 40
  • Published Date

    april 2011