Predictors for Binge Drinking

This piece of German research suggests a number of predictive factors for young people who are more at risk of binge drinking.

Their research was carried out with 44,610 15 year old students and their analysis found eleven relevant risk and protective factors for binge drinking:

  • Suicidal Thoughts (risk)
  • School failure and having to retake a year (risk)
  • Living in a family in receipt of welfare benefits (protective)
  • Being religious (protective)
  • Having a lot of friends (risk)
  • Undertaking other risky behaviours (risk)
  • Parental divorce or separation (risk)
  • School truancy (risk)
  • Having aggressive teachers or being subject to violence at school (risk)

The authors conclusion is that:

Whereas some of the influence factors for binge drinking are not surprising since they are known predictors of substance abuse in general (e.g., risk-taking behavior), there are two points that could be targeted in interventions that should not focus on adolescents alone: 1. training teachers in positive, reassuring behavior and constructive criticism which has also been proofed as effective pedagogic strategy in intervention studies and 2. a focus on high risk students either because they lack coping strategies when in negative mood or because of their low academic achievements and absenteeism from school. An interesting fact is also the protective value of religiosity, which so far has not been the focus of prevention strategies especially not in a country like Germany.

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