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adolescents, Korea, problem drinking



  1. Cho, Mi-Kyoung PhD, RN
  2. Kim, Mi Young PhD, RN


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the factors affecting problem drinking among adolescents in Korea.


Methods: This survey involved 68,043 adolescents who participated in the Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey conducted in 2015. The data were analyzed using the PASW Statistics 23.0 program.


Results: The subjects were aged 14.96 +/- 1.74 years (mean +/- standard deviation), including 52.1% male subjects and 53.0% high school students. Most of the drinkers started drinking during their middle school years (13,906 students, 51.6%). Among the 11,021 adolescent drinkers, 7,391 (67.1%) reported at least one of six behavioral problems related to drinking. Problem drinking behaviors involved (a) drinking alcohol to relieve stress; (b) drinking alcohol alone; (c) receiving advice from family or friends to reduce alcohol consumption; (d) driving a motorcycle or riding a bicycle after drinking alcohol, or riding on a motorcycle or a car with a drunk driver at the steering wheel; (e) memory loss after drinking alcohol; and (f) arguing with others after drinking alcohol. The overall problem-drinking score was 1.36 +/- 1.42 (range: 0-6). A regression model that included individual (5.7%), interpersonal (3.6%), social (0.3%), contextual (11.7%), and drinking (6.6%) behaviors as predictors accounted for 27.9% of the variance in problem drinking (Wald F = 70.10, p < .001).


Conclusion: The drinking levels as well as method and ease of alcohol purchase were the most significant variables predicting problem drinking by adolescents in Korea.