eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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4/2019
vol. 32
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Factors related to the alcohol use among students attending youth correctional centres

Krzysztof Jan Bobrowski
1
,
Jakub Greń
1
,
Krzysztof Ostaszewski
1
,
Agnieszka Pisarska
1

1.
Public Health Department, Youth Prevention Unit “Pro-M”, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland
Alcohol Drug Addict 2019; 32 (4): 317-336
Online publish date: 2020/04/29
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Introduction
We have extensive knowledge of the many factors related to young people’s alcohol consumption in the general population. However, less is known about risk and protective factors among at-risk youth attending special education centres, i.e. youth sociotherapy centres (MOS) and youth correctional centres (MOW). The study aim was to identify the psychosocial and behavioural factors determining the frequency of drinking, alcohol abuse, or alcohol-related problems among adolescents at particular risk.

Material and methods
Data were collected from a random sample of 12-19-year-old students of special education centres (n = 1730). The analysed factors concerned three areas: 1) individual, sociological and psychological characteristics, 2) social, peer and family influences, 3) free-time activities.

Results
The strongest determinant of alcohol consumption, getting drunk and alcohol-related problems were subjective norms conducive to substance use. Among individual factors, sensation seeking, experience of suicide attempt and in some models impulsiveness and low self-control were significant. The social environment also played a role among risk factors, i.e. positive relationships with peers, perceived use of psychoactive substances by close peers and alcohol problems among non-familial adults. On the other hand, parental monitoring of a teenager’s free time proved to be a protective factor. Some leisure time activities had a limited role and were significant in the model explaining only the frequency of drinking.

Discussion
Particularly noteworthy is the relationship between the experience of suicide attempt and deeper involvement in drinking. It is surprising that there is no significant importance of parental support as a protective factor in excessive drinking.

Conclusions
Preventive actions addressed to students of special education centres should be focused on modifiable factors like subjective norms, self-control skills, attractive organised leisure time activities, prevention of suicide attempts and strengthening students’ mental health.

keywords:

Alcohol use, Risk/protective factors, Youth at-risk, Youth correctional centres

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