Alcohol use and associated factors among adolescent boys and young men in Kampala, Uganda

Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2021 Jun 9;16(1):49. doi: 10.1186/s13011-021-00385-8.


Background: Alcohol use leads to about 3 million deaths globally. The alcohol industry employs marketing strategies to establish their brands in the lives of young people at a time when addictive behaviors are initiated and reinforced. We conducted a survey among adolescent boys and young men (ABYM) to estimate the prevalence of alcohol use and associated factors using the Health Belief Model as the guiding framework.

Methods: The study was conducted among ABYM in- or out-of-school aged 10-24 years in Kampala, Uganda. We used questions adopted from the Global School-based Student Health Survey and the WHO STEPwise approach to Surveillance questionnaire to collect data. The outcome of interest was alcohol use within 30 days before the interview. We also asked about characteristics such as alcohol use by siblings, parents/ guardians, school status among others. We used odds ratios obtained via a logistic regression model as the measure of association.

Results: A total of 2500 ABYM participated, of which 262 (10.5 %, 95 %CI 9.3-11.7) had consumed alcohol within 30 days before the interview. Out-of-school ABYM had higher odds of consuming alcohol compared with their in-school counterparts AOR 1.55 (95 %CI 1.09-2.20). Compared with ABYM whose parents/ guardians did not drink alcohol, ABYM whose both parents consumed alcohol had higher odds of consuming alcohol AOR 2.24 (95 %CI 1.38-3.64) as were those with only a mother or female guardian who consumed alcohol AOR 1.95 (95 %CI 1.11-3.41). ABYM with siblings that drink alcohol had higher odds of consuming alcohol AOR 2.25 (95 %CI 1.80-3.52). ABYM who possessed items with an alcohol brand logo had higher odds of consuming alcohol AOR 2.00 (95 %CI 1.33-3.01).

Conclusions: There are significant levels of alcohol consumption among ABYM which calls for evidence-based measures targeting this age group to reduce consumption and recognizing the role of the family, school and community in prevention and promotion of use. There is need to regulate alcohol marketing and ensuring availability of alcohol dependence treatment services that build confidence among youth.

Keywords: Alcohol; Uganda; adolescents; young men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Schools*
  • Students
  • Uganda / epidemiology