Purpose. The consequences of problematic alcohol consumption fall heavily on Australian adolescents, with this population at increased risk of death, serious injury and other harm. Research regarding whether gender, socioeconomic status (SES) or locality play a role in young people’s alcohol consumption and related harm is limited in Australia. This study aimed to determine whether Victorian students’ patterns of alcohol uptake, consumption, and related harm differed between gender, SES and locality. Design/methodology/approach. The study involved secondary analysis of student data from the Drug Education in Victorian Schools (DEVS) harm minimization drug education program, undertaken in 21 Victorian government schools over three years The initial cohort of 1752 students was followed during years eight, nine and ten, when their average age would have respectively been 13, 14 and 15 years. Findings. There were no gender differences in drinking uptake, consumption or harm. Students with low SES were more likely to have consumed a full drink of alcohol and also experienced more alcohol related harm. Students living in a Regional/Rural area were more likely to have engaged in high alcohol consumption. Originality/value. The findings of this study highlighted that different student demographics have an impact on patterns of alcohol consumption, vulnerability and harm. Students with low SES, living in a Regional/Rural area, are more at risk than students with higher SES living in a Fringe Metro/Major Regional or Metro area. Future harm minimization drug education programs delivered in schools need toshould consider the needs of students with demographics that make them more susceptible to higher consumption and harm.
Evans, MelissaLester, LeanneMidford, RichardCahill, Helen WalkerFoxcroft, DavidWaghorne, RobynVenning, Lynne
Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work
Year of publication: 2019Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-07-17