Associations of Truancy, Perceived School Performance, and Mental Health With Alcohol Consumption Among Adolescents
Journal of School Health , Volume 85 - Issue 12 p. 852- 860
BACKGROUND: This study examined associations of truancy, perceived school performance, and mental health with adolescents' week, weekend, and binge drinking. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 1167 secondary school students of Dutch ethnicity (mean age, 15.9 years, SD=0.69). Alcohol consumption, truancy, perceived school performance, and mental health status were assessed with self-report questionnaires. Ordinal regression analyses were performed to assess the associations. RESULTS: Truancy (odds ratio [OR]=2.53; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.70-3.77) and poorer mental health (OR=1.04; 95% CI, 1.02-1.07) were associated with binge drinking more often. Truancy (OR=1.89; 95% CI, 1.14-3.16) and poorer mental health (OR=1.06; 95% CI, 1.02-1.09) were also associated with drinking (more) alcohol on week days. Furthermore, truancy (OR=2.60; 95% CI, 1.76-3.83) and having an average (OR=1.81; 95% CI, 1.19-2.77) or less than average (OR=3.65; 95% CI, 1.93-6.90) perceived school performance were associated with drinking (more) alcohol on the weekend. CONCLUSIONS: Findings of this study suggest that adolescents who are truant and/or have a poor mental health status are at increased risk of binge and week drinking. Furthermore, adolescents who are truant and/or have an average or less than average perceived school performance are at increased risk of weekend drinking.