Declining alcohol consumption among adolescents and schools in Stockholm, 2010–2016
The principle aim of this study was to investigate changes in alcohol consumption among adolescents in Stockholm from 2010 to 2016. A further aim was to investigate whether there are divergent or similar trends in alcohol consumption among elementary schools in Stockholm from 2010 to 2016 and, if there are diverging trends, to examine how the differences might be explained.
Data were analysed using multilevel mixed effects linear regression, in which individual students represented one level and schools the second level.
Student-level data were derived from the Stockholm School Survey for the years 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 (n = 15481). School-level data (n = 132) were derived from registries of the Swedish National Agency for Education.
The results showed that there was an almost 45% decline in total alcohol consumption among ninth-grade students in Stockholm between 2010 and 2016. The decline was similar among all analysed consumption groups.
Two factors were found to statistically explain some of the general decline:
- More restrictive parental attitudes towards alcohol and more importantly,
- Decreasing alcohol consumption among the students’ peers.
The downward trends among schools between 2010 and 2016 were universal but not identical, but when parental attitudes towards alcohol and peers’ alcohol behaviour were controlled for, the diverging school trends in alcohol consumption were considerably more equal.
School constitutes a social context for the student of which both parents and peers are important parts, and the diverging changes may be due to the norms and behaviours, influenced by parents and peers, characterising these schools.