1 july 2010

Alcopops, alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems in a sample of German adolescents: is there an alcopop-specific effect?

AIMS: The objective of the present analysis was to investigate the impact of alcopops on drinking behaviour and alcohol-related negative consequences by controlling for alcohol consumption and the share of alcopops in total ethanol intake. METHODS: Data from the 2003 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD) in Germany were used. The final dataset comprised students aged 15-17 years who reported to have drunk alcohol in the past 7 days (n=5509).

MEASUREMENTS: Alcohol consumption was assessed by beverage-specific quantity measures for the last 7 days. Individuals were categorised into "non-alcopop" and "alcopop consumers"; according to the share in total ethanol intake, alcopop users were further divided into "only-alcopop", "mix-alcopop" and "mix-consumers". Analogous groups were constructed for the other beverages. Outcome measures were age of first alcohol use and drunkenness, frequency of drinking, binge drinking and drunkenness and alcohol-related problems. Hypotheses were tested using proportional hazard models, linear and logistic regressions.

FINDINGS: Controlling for overall volume few differences in consumption and problem measures were found when alcopop and non-alcopop users were compared. Further differentiation of the alcopop group also revealed only few differences. Similar associations were found for the other beverages. Only-alcopop and only-wine drinking was associated with less risky consumption patterns and negative consequences.

CONCLUSIONS: An alcopop-specific effect on problematic drinking behaviour and negative consequences could not be identified. Concerted preventive actions tackling alcohol as a whole are needed in order to gain substantial effects on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems in adolescents.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Kraus L.; Metzner C.; Piontek D.
  • Issue

    Drug Alcohol Depend. / pages 15-20 / volume 110
  • Published Date

    1 july 2010