Lifetime alcohol-use prevalence and correlated factors among street children in Iran

Brain Behav. 2022 Nov;12(11):e2781. doi: 10.1002/brb3.2781. Epub 2022 Oct 13.

Abstract

Background: Several studies on street children in Iran reported a high prevalence of alcohol consumption among this group. This study assessed the prevalence of lifetime alcohol use and correlated factors among street children in Iran.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 856 street children from six provinces of Iran. Behavioral data were collected by trained interviewers using a structured questionnaire. Our target outcome was lifetime alcohol use. We examined associations between individual variables and lifetime alcohol use using the chi-square. A multiple logistic regression model included variables with a p-value < .2. Lastly, we reported the adjusted odds ratio (an OR) point estimate and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) as the effect measure.

Results: Mean age and standard deviation (SD) of alcohol drinkers were 14.94 ± 2.16. Overall, 16.6% (CI95%: 14.38%, 19.55%) of participants reported lifetime alcohol use, and almost 60% of children reported alcohol use over three past months. In the final model, factors that were independently associated with alcohol use included the 15-18 age range (AOR 2.35, 95% CI 1.48-3.73), Iranian nationality (AOR 3.36, 95% CI 2.07-5.45), working longer than 5 years in the streets (AOR 2.90, 95% CI 1.72-4.88), father's drug use (AOR 1.93, 95% CI 1.22-3.01), and illiteracy (AOR 1.65, 95% CI 1.03-2.66).

Conclusions: The results of the present study demonstrated that preventive plans for alcohol use among street children must be addressed using the services provided by governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

Keywords: Iran; alcohol use; lifetime; street children.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Homeless Youth*
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors