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Psychosocial and Contextual Factors Related to Early Drinking Initiation in a Sample of Italian Adolescents (12-14 years)

TitlePsychosocial and Contextual Factors Related to Early Drinking Initiation in a Sample of Italian Adolescents (12-14 years)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsContel M, Buzzi C, Loner E, Sartori F, Tucci M
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published11/2018
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordsalcohol use, family relations/processes, gender differences, intervention, Prevention, sem analysis

Underage drinking is common in Italy. Children experiment under parental supervision their first sip of alcohol as family is reputed a factor of mitigation of unwanted consequences. However, evidence about later age outcomes is not conclusive. Methods. A national sample of 1.180 lower secondary school students (12-14), was surveyed for first drinking experience, subsequent drinking and opinions on alcohol. Multivariate analysis was conducted using SEM (Structural Equation Modeling) analysis. Results. 1) alcohol use (including drunkenness) is mediated by frequency but also by facility of access and peers. Positive alcohol appreciation normalizes the idea that moderate drinking is unproblematic; 2) girls are more exposed to drunkenness if their peers get drunk; 3) initiation under adults external to parents expose to uncontrolled drinking; 4) a positive appreciation at first experience confirms higher consumption levels but not excess. Conclusion. Alcohol initiation seems relatively independent from the presence/absence of family figures. Peers mediates towards higher consumptions.