Risk factors for alcohol use among adolescents: The context of township high schools in Tshwane, South Africa

Bonolo Mmereki, Mmampedi Mathibe, Lindiwe Cele, Perpetua Modjadji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Risk factors for alcohol use originate from many interconnected factors to an interplay of social and physical environments. However, there is a scarcity of data on the contextual risk factors of alcohol use among the adolescents regarding high schools located in townships in South Africa. This study aimed to determine the risk factors for alcohol use among adolescents attending selected township high schools in Tshwane, South Africa. Method: A validated researcher-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on the demographics, as well as current alcohol use, types, quantity, and frequency among adolescents (n = 403) in the three high schools. Data were analyzed using STATA 17. Results: The response rate was 97%, with the mean age of 16 ± 2 years for the adolescents. Forty-eight % (48%) of the adolescents reported current alcohol use, which was associated with sex, age, number of children, school grade, repeated grade, spare time job and types, having a pocket money to school, child social grant, transport mode to school, and smoking. The odds of current alcohol use were higher for adolescents in grade 10 [AOR = 6.71; 95% CI: 3.16–14.24], grade 11 [AOR = 4.45; 95% CI: 2.21], grade 12 [AOR = 3.05; 95% CI: 1.47–6.31], repeating a grade [AOR =2.20; 95% CI: 1.32–3.67), and working during a spare time [AOR = 2.91; 95% CI: 1.33–6.37]. Both sexes had higher odds of alcohol use in the ages of 15–17 and 18–21 years, than adolescents aged 13–14 years. Conclusion: Key risk factors for alcohol use among learners were sex, age, school grade, repeated grade, and working during a spare time. More evidence-based interventions that would have a greater impact in addressing alcohol use among adolescents, such as focusing on availability, marketing, and taxation of alcoholic beverages, are necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number969053
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • South Africa
  • Tshwane
  • adolescents
  • alcohol use
  • risk factors
  • township high schools

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