Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 1516-4446
PINSKY, Ilana et al. Patterns of alcohol use among Brazilian adolescents. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2010, vol.32, n.3, pp.242-249. Epub Apr 30, 2010. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462010005000007.
OBJECTIVE: To describe patterns of alcohol consumption by adolescents in Brazil. METHOD: From November 2005 to April 2006, a sample composed of 661 subjects aged between 14 to 17 years was rigorously selected in Brazil using a multistage probabilistic method to represent the profile of the adolescent Brazilian population. RESULTS: 34% of Brazilian adolescents drink alcoholic beverages. The mean age of drinking initiation was 14 years of age. Older adolescents, as well as those living in the southern part of Brazil, those who are not attending school and those who are working, and black individuals and those with personal income reported a higher frequency of drinking. Socio-demographic factors such as gender, income bracket, family income and student status do increase the amount of alcohol consumed. Males report a higher frequency of binge drinking than females. Moreover, more than half of the males that had drunk in the previous year reported having engaged in binge drinking on at least one occasion. Beer represents approximately half of all the drinks consumed by adolescents. There was no significant difference between genders in the kind of alcohol consumed. DISCUSSION: Among adolescents who drink, the consumption of several drinks is frequent. Alcohol consumption varies from region to region, social economic status (including self-generated income) and age. These findings are discussed in light of their importance for the development of alcohol prevention policies in Brazil.
Keywords : Alcohol drinking; Adolescent; Epidemiology; Social class; Brazil.