Alcohol use and related harms in school students in the USA and Australia

Toumbourou, John W., Hemphill, Sheryl A., McMorris, Barbara J., Catalano, Richard F. and Patton, George C. 2009, Alcohol use and related harms in school students in the USA and Australia, Health promotion international, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 373-382, doi: 10.1093/heapro/dap037.

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Title Alcohol use and related harms in school students in the USA and Australia
Author(s) Toumbourou, John W.ORCID iD for Toumbourou, John W.
Hemphill, Sheryl A.
McMorris, Barbara J.
Catalano, Richard F.
Patton, George C.
Journal name Health promotion international
Volume number 24
Issue number 4
Start page 373
End page 382
Total pages 10
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2009-12
ISSN 1460-2245
Keyword(s) alcohol use
alcohol abuse
alcohol policy
Summary Recognizing there have been few methodologically rigorous cross-national studies of youth alcohol and drug behaviour, state student samples were compared in Australia and the USA. Sampling methods were matched to recruit two independent, state-representative, cross-sectional samples of students in Grades 5, 7 and 9 in Washington State, USA, (n = 2866) and Victoria, Australia (n = 2864) in 2002. Of Washington students in Grade 5 (age 11), 10.3% (95% CI 7.2–14.7) of boys and 5.2% (95% CI 3.4–7.9) of girls reported alcohol use in the past year. Prevalence rates were markedly higher in Victoria (34.2%, 95% CI 28.8–40.1 boys; 21.0%, 95% CI 17.1–25.5 girls). Relative to Washington, the students in Victoria demonstrated a two to three times increased likelihood of reporting substance use (either alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use), and by Grade 9, experiences of loss-of-control of alcohol use, binge drinking (frequent episodes of five or more alcoholic drinks), and injuries related to alcohol were two to four times higher. The high rates of early age alcohol use in Victoria were associated with frequent, heavy and harmful alcohol use and higher overall exposure to alcohol or other drug use. These findings reveal considerable variation in international rates of both adolescent alcohol misuse and co-occurring drug use and suggest the need for cross-national research to identify policies and practices that contribute to the lower rate of adolescent alcohol and drug use observed in the USA in this study.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/heapro/dap037
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920414 Substance Abuse
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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