Background: Given the negative consequences of early alcohol use for health and social functioning, it is essential to detect children at risk of early drinking. The aim of this study is to determine predictors of early alcohol use that can easily be detected in Preventive Child Healthcare (PCH). Methods: We obtained data from the first two waves on 1261 Dutch adolescents who participated in TRAILS (TRacking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey) at ages 10-14 years and from the PCH records regarding ages 4-10 years. Early adolescence alcohol use (age 10-14 years) was defined as alcohol use at least once at ages 10-12 years (wave 1) and at least once in the previous 4 weeks at ages 12-14 years (wave 2). Predictors of early alcohol use concerned parent and teacher reports at wave 1 and PCH registrations, regarding the child's psychosocial functioning, and parental and socio-demographic characteristics. Results: A total of 17.2% of the adolescents reported early alcohol use. Predictors of early alcohol use were teacher-reported aggressive behaviour [odds ratios (OR); 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.86; 1.11-3.11], being a boy (OR 1.80, 95%-CI 1.31-2.56), being a non-immigrant (OR 2.31, 95%CI 1.05-5.09), and low and middle educational level of the father (OR 1.71, 95%CI 1.12-2.62 and OR 1.77, 95%CI 1.16-2.70, respectively), mutually adjusted. Conclusion: A limited set of factors was predictive for early alcohol use. Use of this set may improve the detection of early adolescence alcohol use in PCH.

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Journal European Journal of Public Health
Visser, L, de Winter, A.F, Vollebergh, W.A.M, Verhulst, F.C, & Reijneveld, S.A. (2015). Do child's psychosocial functioning, and parent and family characteristics predict early alcohol use? the TRAILS Study. European Journal of Public Health, 25(1), 38–43. doi:10.1093/eurpub/cku072