Identifying trajectories of alcohol use in a sample of secondary school students in Ontario and Alberta: longitudinal evidence from the COMPASS study.

Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can. 2019 Sep;39(8-9):244-253

Authors: Gohari MR, Dubin JA, Cook RJ, Leatherdale ST

INTRODUCTION: Despite evidence indicating a rapid progression in use of alcohol during adolescence, little is known about the ways patterns of drinking develop over time. This study investigated patterns of alcohol use within a cohort of youth in Ontario and Alberta and the probability of changes between patterns.
METHODS: The sample consists of two-year linked longitudinal data (school year 2013/14 to 2014/15) from 19 492 students in Grades 9 to 12 in 89 secondary schools across Ontario and Alberta, Canada, who participated in the COMPASS study. The latent class analysis used two self-reported items about the frequency of drinking (measured as none, monthly, weekly, or daily use) and the frequency of binge drinking (measured as none, less than or once a month, 2-4 times a month, or more than once week) to characterize patterns of alcohol use. The effects of gender, ethnicity and cannabis and cigarette use on alcohol use patterns were examined.
RESULTS: The study identified four drinking patterns: non-drinker, periodic drinker (reported monthly drinking and no binge drinking), low-risk drinker (reported monthly drinking and limited binge drinking) and high-risk regular drinker (reported drinking 1-3 times a week and binge drinking 2-4 times a month). Non-drinker was the most prevalent pattern at baseline (55.1%) and follow-up (39.1%). Periodic drinkers had the highest likelihood of an increase in alcohol consumption, with 40% moving to the low-risk pattern. A notable proportion of participants returned to a lower severity pattern or transitioning out of drinking.
CONCLUSION: There are four distinct youth alcohol-use patterns. The high probability of transitioning to drinking during the secondary school years suggests the need for preventive interventions in earlier stages of use, before drinking becomes habitual.

PMID: 31517467 [PubMed – in process]

Source: ncbi 2

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