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OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University
Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy
Introduction: The study examined social environmental factors of adolescents of grade 8 and 10 (age 13-16) in Norway and the US to determine which factors influence the behaviour of having been intoxicated on alcohol. Since alcohol intoxication can cause greater physical and mental harm in adolescents, preventing this risky behaviour of early alcohol intoxication is important. Based on Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of human development, the adolescent’s social environmental factors and individual’s characteristic factors were analysed including: one’s individual characteristics, parent, peer, school influence and national policy. Methods: 5,088 adolescents from the US and 13,931 from Norway completed respective national surveys about various health related behaviours. Monitoring the Future (2015) was selected as the US dataset and Ungdata (2010-2015) as the Norwegian dataset. Using nested logistic regression, the data from each country’s survey was analysed separately. The results were subsequently compared to identify how each factor influenced the odds of adolescents having been drunk and how the factors are interrelated in each country. Results: US: Talking to parents about personal problems, having more peers who drink or get drunk, number of skipped (cut) school days and having visited a therapist for alcohol use indicated statistically significant influence of having a positive relationship with the odds of adolescents having been drunk. No other social environmental factors showed significant influence. Norway: Sex, father’s education, and talking to parents about one’s problems showed a negative correlation with the odds of adolescents having been drunk. Grade/age, depressed about future, having more peers who drink or get drunk, number of cut school days, and visiting school nurse for substance use showed a positive correlation with the odds of adolescents having been drunk. No other social environmental factors showed significant influence. Conclusion: Results showed peer factor as the most influential factor on the odds of adolescents having been drunk for both the US and Norway. Talking to parents about one’s problems, number of school days cut and seeking professional help for alcohol or substance use was also influential. However, sex, being depressed about future, and father’s education showed different results regarding their influence on the odds of adolescents having been drunk in the US and Norway.
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