Country-Level Heavy Episodic Drinking and Individual-Level Experiences of Harm from Others’ Drinking-Related Aggression in 19 European Countries
There is limited knowledge about how individual experiences of harm from others’ alcohol use are influenced by heavy episodic alcohol drinking (HED) at the country level.
The present study aimed to assess
- the association between the country-level prevalence of HED and the risk of experiencing harm from others’ alcohol use-related aggression, and
- if HED at the country level modifies the association between consumption of alcohol per capita (APC) and such harm.
Outcome data from 32,576 participants from 19 European countries stem from the RARHA SEAS study.
Self-reported harm from others’ alcohol use included having been verbally abused, harmed physically, or having serious arguments.
Data on country-level alcohol use patterns were derived from the World Health Organization. Associations between country-level prevalence of monthly HED and experiences of aggression (at least 1 of 3 studied harms) were derived through multilevel models – adjusted for country-level age structure and by including the respondent’s own HED patterns as a mediator.
A 1% increase in the prevalence of monthly HED was associated with 5% higher odds of experiencing others’ alcohol-related aggression among men, and 6% among women.
The results suggest that the association between APC and harm was stronger in countries with high prevalences of HED, but the modifying effect could not be confirmed.
Harm from others’ alcohol-related aggression depends not only on individual factors but is also influenced by the alcohol use patterns of the population. However, the country-level prevalence of HED only explains a small part of the variance of this type of harm.