Sociodemographic risk factors of alcohol drinking in Hong Kong adolescents

J Epidemiol Community Health. 2016 Apr;70(4):374-9. doi: 10.1136/jech-2015-206418. Epub 2015 Oct 14.


Background: Adolescent drinking in Western countries has been associated with older age and high socioeconomic status, but the association with family structure was inconsistent.

Methods: In a 2012-2013 school-based survey in Hong Kong, 23,096 students (mean age 14.7 years, SD 1.8 years) completed an anonymous questionnaire. Current drinking was defined as any drinking and binge drinking as consuming at least 5 drinks on one occasion, both in the past 30 days. Multilevel logistic regression was used to examine the association of sociodemographic characteristics with current drinking, binge drinking and type of alcohol consumed.

Results: Current drinking was associated with age (≥ 15 vs ≤ 14 years) (adjusted OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.74 to 2.02), higher perceived family affluence versus low affluence (1.11, 1.02 to 1.21 for medium affluence; 1.55, 1.38 to 1.75 for high affluence), private housing versus public housing (1.11, 1.01 to 1.21) and non-intact family versus intact family (1.31, 1.19 to 1.45 for separated/divorced parents; 1.40, 1.21 to 1.62 for one or both deceased parents). Similar risk factors were observed for binge drinking. Girls were more likely to drink fruit wine (1.48, 1.36 to 1.62), while they were less likely to drink beer (0.85, 0.79 to 0.92) and spirits (0.69, 0.54 to 0.87). Students who reported high family affluence were more likely to drink wine (1.91, 1.59 to 2.30) and spirits (2.23, 1.54 to 3.24).

Conclusions: Generally, adolescents who were older and had higher socioeconomic status were more likely to drink. High family affluence was associated with wine and spirits drinking. Beer and spirits were preferred more by boys, and fruit wine by girls. These results indicated high-risk groups for adolescent alcohol interventions.


Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / ethnology
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / ethnology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholic Beverages*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / ethnology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / psychology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires