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Modelling alcohol consumption during adolescence using zero inflated negative binomial and decision trees

Author(s): Elena Gervilla | Berta Cajal | Jona Roca | Alfonso Palmer

Journal: European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context
ISSN 1889-1861

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 145;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Zero inflated negative binomial model | drinking behavior | social drinking | data mining | Decision trees | Adolescence.

Alcohol is currently the most consumed substance among the Spanish adolescent population. Some of the variables that bear an influence on this consumption include ease of access, use of alcohol by friends and some personality factors. The aim of this study was to analyze and quantify the predictive value of these variables specifically on alcohol consumption in the adolescent population. The useful sample was made up of 6,145 adolescents (49.8% boys and 50.2% girls) with a mean age of 15.4 years (SE= 1.2). The data were analyzed using the statistical model for a count variable and Data Mining techniques. The results show the influence of ease of access, alcohol consumption by the group of friends, and certain personality factors on alcohol intake, allowing us to quantify the intensity of this influence according to age and gender. Knowing these factors is the starting point in elaborating specific preventive actions against alcohol consumption.
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