july 2011

The Relationship between Alcohol Consumption and Perceived Drunkenness: a Multilevel Cross-National Comparison in Samples of Adolescents

AIMS: Alcohol consumption seems to be the best predictor of drunkenness and evidence suggests that individual and country factors influence the perception of drunkenness. This study examines if the relationship between volume of alcohol consumption and perceived drunkenness varies across European countries in samples of adolescents.

METHODS: Data came from the 2007 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD). The analytical sample consisted of n = 60,114 (93%) 15-16-year-old students in 24 countries reporting alcohol consumption on the last drinking occasion. At the individual level, perceived drunkenness on the last drinking occasion was measured with a 10-point scale, alcohol consumption on the last drinking occasion with a beverage-specific quantity index. Six individual characteristics were assessed and used as control variables. At the country level, a total of five country-level variables were included in the study. Data were analysed using multilevel regression models simultaneously considering both individual level (Level 1) and group (country) level (Level 2) variables.

RESULTS: The relationship between alcohol consumption and perceived drunkenness varied across countries. This variation could partly be explained by drinking patterns and geographical region.

CONCLUSION: The perception of the effects of alcohol in terms of drunkenness seems to vary across countries. Future studies should develop sound indicators of cultural differences accounting for this variation.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Muller S.; Piontek D.; Pabst A.; Kraus L.
  • Issue

    Alcohol Alcohol / pages 399-406 / volume 46
  • Published Date

    july 2011