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Families with increased risk of alcohol and tobacco use by adolescents

Author(s): Prosol, Valeria | Iakunchykova, Olena | Kozlova, Julia | Andreeva, Tatiana

Journal: Tobacco Control and Public Health in Eastern Europe
ISSN 2222-2693

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 90;
Date: 2011;
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BACKGROUND. Increasing number of incomplete families is considered a negative trend in the society because it results in deterioration of the family’s educative function, due to which children in such families are more likely to start and practice antisocial behaviors. Many sociological studies showed that children from single-parent and reconstructed families are at increased risk of early use of alcohol, drugs, and smoking. According to the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine, 27,5% of families with children younger than 18 years in Ukraine are single-parent families, which is a substantial portion. Therefore, we aimed to identify levels of alcohol consumption by adolescents, based on the type of family in which they have been brought up.METHODS. The study group consisted of 28 000 Ukrainian youth aged 14-27 who were participants of the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs conducted in different types of secondary schools in 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. The outcome variable was alcohol consumption. Independent variables included accessibility of alcohol, economic status, parental control, smoking status, relationship with parents, and the type of family.RESULTS. The multivariate analysis revealed that higher alcohol consumption was associated with unsatisfactory relationship with a father, with being brought up in a single-parent family, with insufficient control by parents, and with smoking of an adolescent.CONCLUSIONS. The study documents the existence of social phenomenon which is related to families characterized by problematic relationship both between spouses and between generations, and alcohol and tobacco use by adolescents and possibly by their parents. The data do not give grounds to ascribe these families to a particular socio-economic stratum, but they definitely deserve public attention and care.
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