Alcohol use in early and late adolescence among the birth to twenty cohort in Soweto, South Africa.

Leane Ramsoomar, Neo K. Morojele, Shane A. Norris

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Alcohol is a risk factor for the leading causes of mortality and morbidity among young people Globally. Youth drinking, initiated in early adolescence and continued into early adulthood, is influenced by maternal socio-demographic factors and maternal education. Limited prospective data exists in South Africa on the prevalence of alcohol use during adolescence and adolescent and maternal socio-demographic correlates. To examine the prevalence of lifetime alcohol use during early (13 years) and late (18 years) adolescence in Soweto, South Africa, and its association with child and maternal socio-demographic factors. Data on alcohol use in early adolescence (age 13 years) and late adolescence (age 18 years) were collected using self-completed pen and paper and self-completed computer-based questionnaires, respectively. Univariate analyses were conducted on child (gender and number of school years repeated by grade 7), maternal socio-demographic correlates (education, marital status, and age), and household socioeconomic status (SES). Bivariate logistic regression analyses examined associations between alcohol use and all child and maternal socio-demographic factors. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted on all the variables found to be significantly (pB0.10) associated with alcohol use to examine the predictive value on alcohol use at early and late adolescence. Lifetime alcohol use increased from 22% at early adolescence to 66% at late adolescence. In multivariate analyses, gender, maternal education, and SES predicted lifetime alcohol use at early adolescence, while gender, maternal education, marital status, and SES were predictive of the same at late adolescence. This study aids researchers and practitioners to identify maternal and child socio-demographic risk profiles for alcohol use to inform policies and programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19274
Number of pages1
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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