Alcohol’s harm to others and subjective well‐being: Cross‐sectional studies in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand
Introduction and Aims
Previous studies have confirmed that the number of heavy alcohol users in a household negatively correlates with the subjective wellbeing of individuals in the household.
However, limited studies have investigated the experiences of alcohol’s harm to others (HTO) and subjective wellbeing, particularly in low‐ and middle‐income countries.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between experiences of HTO and subjective well‐being in two selected low‐ and middle‐income countries.
Design and Methods
The researchers analysed population survey data on 1205 and 1491 individuals aged 18 to 64 years from Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Thailand, respectively. The respondents’ experiences of HTO and their subjective well‐being were measured using face‐to‐face interviews.
The association between experiencing HTO and subjective well‐being was investigated using Tobit regression models.
A significant association between experiencing HTO and subjective well‐being was found in Thailand, but not in Lao PDR.
Those who had ever experienced HTO had a 2.77‐point lower score of subjective well‐being than those who had never experienced HTO in Thailand.
In Lao PDR, the physical harm dimension showed the strongest association with subjective well‐being compared to other types of harm, while in Thailand, financial harm was the dimension most strongly associated with the outcome.
Discussion and Conclusions
There was a significant association between HTO and subjective well‐being, particularly physical harm in Lao PDR and financial harm in Thailand. The study suggests that services to mitigate the impacts of HTO on well‐being should focus on physical harm in Lao PDR and financial harm in Thailand.