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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


BRITO, Irma et al. Factors associated with alcohol consumption in adolescence, by gender. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2015, vol.16, n.3, pp.392-410. ISSN 1645-0086.

According to the last ESPAD Report (2012), 74% of Portuguese adolescents reported to have used alcohol in the last year, with 52% using it in the last month and 22% reporting binge drinking. Alcohol consumption is a severe and prevalent problem among adolescents; therefore it is very important to identify factors associated with this consumption in order to develop effective preventive strategies. Objectives: To describe the perceptions about the risk and protective factors associated with experimentation and regular alcohol consumption in adolescence, by gender. Methods: A focus group technique was used trough a World Café methodology. Nine groups of students were organized (n=243): 2 male groups, 2 female groups, 4 mixed groups (boys and girls who used alcohol) and 1 group of abstinent students. Data was transcribed and analyzed through a content analysis methodology. Results: Participants identified risk factors associated with experimentation (e.g.: family attitudes towards alcohol consumption) and regular alcohol consumption (e.g.: way of dealing with negative emotions). Gender differences were also identified in experimentation; family attitude towards alcohol consumption seems to be more relevant to boys, while peer’s influence seems to play a predominant role to girls. Conclusions: Data reveals several factors associated with alcohol consumption in adolescents and identify gender differences. Preventive programs should take these differences into account and develop actions supported by those. At the same time, it is important that they involve parents, raising awareness to their influence in children’s behaviors.

Keywords : Alcohol consumption; Adolescence; Risk and protective factors; World Café methodology.

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