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Psychiatry Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 250215, 12 pages
Research Article

The Effect of Family Factors on Intense Alcohol Use among European Adolescents: A Multilevel Analysis

1Institute of Public Law, University of Tartu, Kaarli Puiestee 3, 10119 Tallinn, Estonia
2Department of Sociology, Charles University, Nam. J. Palacha 2, 11638 Prague, Czech Republic

Received 27 October 2012; Accepted 25 January 2013

Academic Editor: Jörg Richter

Copyright © 2013 Kristjan Kask et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In Europe use of alcohol by adolescents is a large and increasing problem. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of family factors such as structure, social control, affluence, and negative life events on adolescents' risky alcohol use. Data on alcohol use and family factors were obtained from the International Self-Report Delinquency Study (ISRD-2). Using multilevel analysis, it was found that overall, complete family and high social control by parents were lowering the intense alcohol use whereas negative life events in the family and high family affluence were increasing youngsters' intense alcohol use. Differences between regions of Europe were present for all family factors except affluence. Namely, in Northern Europe the impact of family structure and social control on intense alcohol use was stronger than that in other regions (e.g., Western Europe, Mediterranean, and Postsocialist countries). Also, in Northern Europe where the proportion of adolescents who have not experienced negative life events is the highest, the impact of negative life events on intense alcohol use was stronger; that is, negative life events increased the alcohol use. We conclude that family plays a significant role in adolescents' risky alcohol use.