BackgroundThe aims of this study were to measure the extent of alcohol use among a sample of early adolescents and to provide information on the factors influencing the consumption.MethodsData were collected via self-administered anonymous questionnaires from 1,520 middle school students (mean age of 13.1 years (range 12-15 years)), who were recruited from a random sample of public schools in Calabria Region, Italy.ResultsA total of 1,032 participants completed the survey for a response rate of 68%. Nearly 70% of the respondents had drunk at least once during their lifetime, and 16.7% reported consuming alcohol during 30 days before the survey. Multivariate analysis showed that the factors associated with the consumption of alcohol were being male (odds ratio (OR) 0.58, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.41-0.80), being older (OR 1.88, 95% CI 1.37-2.56), living in an urban area (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.21-0.40), reporting a sad self-perceived mood (OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.87-4.48), reporting parental drinking habits (OR 7.11, 95% CI 5.02-10.08), and not considering alcohol use as an unhealthy behavior (OR 2.43, 95% CI 1.11-5.31).ConclusionAlcohol use among early adolescents is widespread. Multicomponent interventions are required in order to reduce the average levels of alcohol drinking among early adolescents.
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