eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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vol. 31
Original paper

Risk perception and alcohol drinking among young people in seven European countries from 1995 to 2015

Michał Bujalski
Janusz Sierosławski

Alcohol Drug Addict 2018; 31 (1): 17-48
Online publish date: 2018/10/10
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Risk perception may essentially affect alcohol consumption and binge drinking. Understanding the impact and the role of risk perception is an important factor in the effectiveness of youth-targeted alcohol prevention. The aim of research was to analyse changes in risk perception and trends in alcohol drinking among school students in Poland in comparison to youth from other European countries from 1995 to 2015.

Material and methods
ESPAD study data (1995-2015) from Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Sweden, Italy and Ukraine were analysed (N = 144,357) to examine the link between risk perception and alcohol consumption and binge drinking. Data were analysed with IBM SPSS 21 using Chi-square tests.

Between 1995 and 2015, the percentage of students who considered frequently drinking small amounts of alcohol as a low-risk or no-risk behaviour increased in some of the countries (including Poland). Changes in risk perception of binge drinking were of less dramatic course, however significantly affected the magnitude of this phenomenon.

The impact of risk perception on alcohol consumption changes over time and might occur differently across countries. The declining rate of drinking students is not always related to the increase of high risk perception. In recent years, frequently drinking small amounts of alcohol has not become perceived as a risky behaviour.

Analysis of associations of risk perception and alcohol related behaviours among young people, emphasises the need to introduce the issues of frequent consumption of small amounts of alcohol into prevention programmes.


Alcohol, Risk, Risk perception, Young people, ESPAD study

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