Background and purpose Despite a recent shift in school going adolescents’ engagement in health compromising behaviours and their related socio-economic implications on developing societies, it is surprising that baseline information for planned interventions is sparse. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of alcohol drinking and related behaviours among in-school adolescents in the Junior High Schools (JHS) in the Central Region of Ghana. Methods and results Descriptive cross-sectional design was employed with multistage sampling procedures to sample 1400 school going adolescents in JHS in the Central Region. Preliminary findings using simple frequencies and percentages revealed 42% alcohol drinking prevalence in the region. High prevalence of drunkenness (73%, n = 406) and early exposure to alcohol drinking when students were in primary school (52%, n = 286) were noted. Community festivals and use of alcohol as a form of medicine were enabling factors of alcohol consumption in the region. Binary logistic regression analysis also showed that geographical location was a significant predictor of alcohol drinking among school going adolescents, with students in the southern and central part of the region at greater risks of drinking alcohol than those from the northern part (OR = .696, 95% CI = 0.52–926, p = .013). However, no statistical significant variations were found in the odds of drinking alcohol for age (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 0.86–1.48, p = .370), gender (OR = .81, 95% CI = 0.65–1.01, p = .06), religious affiliation (OR = 1.33, 95% CI = 0.94–1.89, p = .10), parental communication (OR = .86, 95% CI = 0.66–1.06, p = .13), academic performance (OR = 1.07, 95% CI = 0.79–1.45, p = .05) and socioeconomic status (OR = 1.20, 95% CI = 0.95–1.53, p = .12). Conclusions With this baseline data, it was recommended that schools’ curricula should include preventive cognitive-behavioural interventions that teach drug resistance skills and anti-drug norms. These interventions would foster the development of requisite knowledge and social skills (e.g., developing competence) for resisting social and peer influences that may trigger alcohol use and perhaps other drugs. Potentially, the motivation for alcohol use among school going adolescents in the region would be minimized, if not prevented.
Hormenu, T., Hagan Jnr, J. E., & Schack, T. (2018). Predictors of alcohol consumption among in-school adolescents in the Central Region of Ghana: A baseline information for developing cognitive-behavioural interventions. PLoS ONE, 13(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207093