This study found that 3.9% of Nigerian university students who consumed alcohol did so at risky level, 1.5% were using alcohol heavily and 9.1% were dependent on alcohol. Self-efficacy, depression and life purpose correlated with alcohol use.

The authors conclude that more evidence-based prevention and intervention programs are necessary to safeguard this specific population.


Rachel B. Asagba, Samson F. Agberotimi and Abayomi O. Olaseni


Rachel B. Asagba, Samson F. Agberotimi & Abayomi O. Olaseni (2021) Prevalence and psychological correlates of alcohol use among Nigerian university students, Journal of Substance Use, DOI: 10.1080/14659891.2021.1875067

Journal of Substance Use
Release date

Prevalence and Psychological Correlates of Alcohol Use Among Nigerian University Students



The problem of alcohol use among young people remains a serious public health concern.


This study investigated the prevalence and psychological correlates of alcohol use among university students in Nigeria.


A cross-sectional survey was conducted across six randomly selected Nigerian universities with a sample of 1,173 students comprising of 673 males and 500 females aged 21.68 ± 5.42 years. A structured questionnaire containing measures of alcohol use, self-efficacy, depression, and life purpose was used for data collection. Data were subjected to SPSS v.22 for statistical analysis.


About one-third (31.3%) of the respondents reported current alcohol use; 16.8% were non-risk users, 3.9% were risky users, 1.5% were heavy users, and 9.1% were dependent users. There were significant differences in alcohol use across age groups and geographical locations. Self-efficacy (r = −.17, p< .01), depression (r = .20, p < .01), and life purpose (r = −.31, p < .01) significantly correlate with alcohol use.


Prevalence of alcohol use among university students remains high. More evidence-based prevention and intervention programmes should be targeted at this population.

Source Website: Taylor & Francis Online